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Yme

D&c 132, Polygamy & Eternal Marriage

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From my reading of various sources, including the Lds "History of the Church", it appears that Smith "received" the revelation on plural marriage in June (or July?) of 1843. (Today's version of the BOM seems to suggest it could have been earlier though.)

Was this revelation ever "voted on or ratified" by the appropriate authorities with the church at that time? If so, when and where was this done and why did it take somewhere between 21 years (1831) and 9 years (1843) before being announced by the church after they moved to the Utah territory? If it was not voted on, on what authority was it cannonized?

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Hyrum Smith read it to the High Council in Nauvoo a month after it was given and 10 of the 13 people present received it as true.

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Hyrum Smith read it to the High Council in Nauvoo a month after it was given and 10 of the 13 people present received it as true.

Thanks.

Do you have a source for this information?

Also, when you say "after it was given" what does that mean? After it was received by Smith or after it was given by whom? What was the date it was read by Hyrum Smith?

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If I remember correctly, the Doctrine and Covenants was revised in 1876 and had 26 sections added that included Section 132. These and other revelations that had been added in previous editions were officially accepted by the Church by a vote in 1880.

In the October 1880 general conference, President George Q. Cannon held up copies of the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price and said, â??As there have been additions made â?¦ by the publishing of revelations which were not contained in the original edition, it has been deemed wise to submit these books with their contents to the Conference, to see whether the Conference will vote to accept the books and their contents as from God, and binding upon us as a people and as a Church.â? President Joseph F. Smith so moved, it was seconded, and the congregation voted affirmatively. (Deseret Evening News, 11 Oct. 1880, p. 2, col. 4.)

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The revelation was received July 12, 1843 and Hyrum read it to the High Council on August 12, 1843.

This info comes from David Fullmer, who was present, and is from The Historical Record 6:227.

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The revelation was received July 12, 1843 and Hyrum read it to the High Council on August 12, 1843.

This info comes from David Fullmer, who was present, and is from The Historical Record 6:227.

Thanks again.

I am not sure what "The Historical Record" is. Was this some church official publication? Is there an online reference to this record out of couriosity?

But if the above account is accurate, why did the Lds Church wait unti 1852, after they had moved to the Utqah territory until publically announcing this revelation? Furthermore, if it had been revealed to Joseph Smith from God, why would Smith publically deny he was practicing polygamy just weeks before his death and in response to the very acccusation that the Expositor had printed. Was the Expositor wrong? Seems like they didn't say anything that was untrue then.

The chronology of this revelation and the statements from the very prophet who supposedly received this revelation seems very confusing and highly contradicted.

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Thanks again.

I am not sure what "The Historical Record" is. Was this some church official publication? Is there an online reference to this record out of couriosity?

I found this in a bibliographic index to issues of Dialogue online:

Jenson, Andrew, 1850-1941. The Historical Record: A Monthly Periodical Devoted Exclusively to Historical, Biographical, Chronological and Statistical Matters. Salt Lake City, Utah : A. Jenson, 1882-1890.

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Presenting it to the High Council is hardly including all members and leaders in deciding if the document was of God, man, or the Devil. The idea that 13 members of a High Council should repeal the monogamous beliefs of the church is an abuse of power. The document should have been placed before all the leaders in public an not sneakily to a few members who agreed with polygamy. It wasn't until 1852 that the documents existence was announced by the LDS leaders.

Plural marriage was adopted as a practice contrary to civil and church law. The church as early as 1835 declared it's anti-polygamy views. People got excommunicated for being polygamists. The only way to avoid excommunication was to have leading fellow polygamists protect you in your sin. If the document had been presented to all the leadership, and to all the membership in the church it's content would have been rejected. By 1852 Brigham Young had become firmly in control of the LDS Church, so nobody had power to oppose 132. Those opposed to it became Reorganized LDS, or moved on to other monogamous believing churches, ect.

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Presenting it to the High Council is hardly including all members and leaders in deciding if the document was of God, man, or the Devil. The idea that 13 members of a High Council should repeal the monogamous beliefs of the church is an abuse of power. The document should have been placed before all the leaders in public an not sneakily to a few members who agreed with polygamy. It wasn't until 1852 that the documents existence was announced by the LDS leaders.

Plural marriage was adopted as a practice contrary to civil and church law. The church as early as 1835 declared it's anti-polygamy views. People got excommunicated for being polygamists. The only way to avoid excommunication was to have leading fellow polygamists protect you in your sin. If the document had been presented to all the leadership, and to all the membership in the church it's content would have been rejected. By 1852 Brigham Young had become firmly in control of the LDS Church, so nobody had power to oppose 132. Those opposed to it became Reorganized LDS, or moved on to other monogamous believing churches, ect.

Did Joseph ever practice it? If so, why?

Did Joseph invariably reveal all his instruction from God to the membership of the Church for vote? Why or why not?

Also it should be noted the revelation on plural marriage was likely received yin the early years after the church was organized. Early '30s, at least. If you CFR me I have to abstain, because I don't have access to my sources right now, but it is discussed in Bushman's RSR, as well as a few Truman Madsen talks.

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Also it should be noted the revelation on plural marriage was likely received yin the early years after the church was organized. Early '30s, at least.

This just seems to be contradicted by the historical facts. It is what also seems troubling about what the BOM states in the intro to D&C 132 today as well.

As publisher and editor of the Lds Church's "Times and Season" publication, Joseph Smith specifically cited the Doctrine and Covenants rule on marriage at that time which called for monagamy only and a public wedding. Smith also was very clear it was "the only rule on marriage" that the Church practiced.

[This can be found beginning on page 939 in the following link: http://www.centerplace.org/history/ts/v3n23.htm ]

Furthermore, Smith's own diary as printed in the History of the Church also is very specific that he "received the revelation" on pural marriage in July of 1843.

Why does the Lds church now try and convince people this came about differently than what it's own prophet, who supposedly received it from God, declared back in the 1840s?????

Is it an attempt to cover up or rationalize the affairs that Smith was having with other women at the time?

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This just seems to be contradicted by the historical facts. It is what also seems troubling about what the BOM states in the intro to D&C 132 today as well.

As publisher and editor of the Lds Church's "Times and Season" publication, Joseph Smith specifically cited the Doctrine and Covenants rule on marriage at that time which called for monagamy only and a public wedding. Smith also was very clear it was "the only rule on marriage" that the Church practiced.

[This can be found beginning on page 939 in the following link: http://www.centerplace.org/history/ts/v3n23.htm ]

Furthermore, Smith's own diary as printed in the History of the Church also is very specific that he "received the revelation" on pural marriage in July of 1843.

Why does the Lds church now try and convince people this came about differently than what it's own prophet, who supposedly received it from God, declared back in the 1840s?????

Is it an attempt to cover up or rationalize the affairs that Smith was having with other women at the time?

I see you missed a few of my questions.

PS- It was the only rule on marriage the Church practiced.

PPS- Did Joseph Smith write all entries for the HC with his own hand? Was he there for its publication? Did he approve all its contents?

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PS- It was the only rule on marriage the Church practiced.

This seems to make little sense as well. If Smith, as the Church records reflect, had several polygamous wives by as early as 1841 wasn't he and the women he married practicing a rule of marriage within the church back then? Or were these marriages consumated outside the Church???

PPS- Did Joseph Smith write all entries for the HC with his own hand? Was he there for its publication? Did he approve all its contents?

Not following you here. Are you suggesting that Smith never made those entries to his own journal? Or is this just a way of not dealing with the facts? I have seen the History of the Church cited in both general conference sessions and church publications. I would think if the leaders of the chruch and scholars did not find it realiable they would not use it in any venues or publications of the Church. Does that make sense?

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This seems to make little sense as well. If Smith, as the Church records reflect, had several polygamous wives by as early as 1841 wasn't he and the women he married practicing a rule of marriage within the church back then? Or were these marriages consumated outside the Church???

Not following you here. Are you suggesting that Smith never made those entries to his own journal? Or is this just a way of not dealing with the facts? I have seen the History of the Church cited in both general conference sessions and church publications. I would think if the leaders of the chruch and scholars did not find it realiable they would not use it in any venues or publications of the Church. Does that make sense?

I shouldn't have said anything additional, as you still have not answered my initial questions. I forego further discussion and reissue the questions:

Did Joseph ever practice it? If so, why?

Did Joseph invariably reveal all his instruction from God to the membership of the Church for vote? Why or why not?

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I shouldn't have said anything additional, as you still have not answered my initial questions. I forego further discussion and reissue the questions:

Wow, with a response like that, maybe you should change your name to "LifeInaVacuum" :P Just kiddin.

Anyway I thought your questions were directed to someone else. But I give you my honest answers:

1. "Did Joseph ever practice it? If so, why?"

I think, given the Church's seemingly acknowledgement of his polygamous marriages one would have to conclude that "yes, Smith practiced polygamy". Why he practiced it is anyones own guess. I think, since it was against the law at the time, and church doctrine required members to "obey the law of the land" (D&C 58?), Smith had a strong physical or emotional desire to live that lifestyle with multiple partners in a secret practice. Given that he publically denied having more than one wife just before he died, I think this is a reasonable conclusion. Because had it truly been a revealtion from God, I don't believe a true prophet would deny or lie about such a revelation. There would be no need to if, in fact, it was truly from God.

2. "Did Joseph invariably reveal all his instruction from God to the membership of the Church for vote? Why or why not? "

I really have no idea here. But if he was a true prophet, and he really did recieve revelation from God for instruction to members, why would Smith not reveal all God's instructions to members?? Why would God give revelation if He did not want it revealed???

ANyway, let it not be said that I avoided your questions! Would like you to answer mine now???!!!

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If Smith, as the Church records reflect, had several polygamous wives by as early as 1841 wasn't he and the women he married practicing a rule of marriage within the church back then? Or were these marriages consumated outside the Church???

Joseph Smith isn't the Church. It wasn't presented to the Church as doctrine for the Church at the time.

Are you suggesting that Smith never made those entries to his own journal?

You'd have to look into the methods and etc. dealing with the compilation of the HC for more on this. I don't know what was by Joseph's hand, what wasn't, and what was recorded after his death.

As far as using HC as a source, I guess it would largely depend on what was being quoted.

But if he was a true prophet, and he really did recieve revelation from God for instruction to members, why would Smith not reveal all God's instructions to members?? Why would God give revelation if He did not want it revealed???

I don't view revelation from God with such rigidity, so as far as "why" God revealed it the way he did, etc. I can only surmise.

Edited for spelling.

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If Smith, as the Church records reflect, had several polygamous wives by as early as 1841 wasn't he and the women he married practicing a rule of marriage within the church back then? Or were these marriages consumated outside the Church???
Joseph Smith isn't the Church. It wasn't presented to the Church as doctrine for the Church at the time.

Life,

Here is what is difficult about your response. Seems to me either Smith was involved in a practice of marriage that was allowed by the Church or was not allowed by the church. If the Lds church was the "one true church" at that time and, as some members have stated, God gave Smith a command to practice polygamy, his polygamous marriages had to be a practice of and within the church at that time. This makes his public statements both denying polygamy and that monagamy was the "only rule on marriage" both untrue and deceitful. How can it be any other way?

Why would he simply not say that God allowed certain members, such as himself, to practice polygamy but not all members. Isnt this what church officials have claimed all along, even after announcing it formally in the Utah territory? Why would he lie and deny the truth from members and the public.

Honestly, the entire history of polygamy reminds me of that quote "what a tangled web we weave, when at first we practice to deceive". And I think the consequences obviously caught up with Smith in Nauvoo and, then later, the entire church in Utah.

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What about this quote? I think it indicates how the practise was to be done:

(Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section Six 1843-44 Pg.323) "Gave instructions to try those persons who were preaching, teaching, or practicing the doctrine of plurality of wives; for, according to the law, I hold the keys of this power in the last days; for there is never but one on earth at a time on whom the power and its keys are conferred; and I have constantly said no man shall have but one wife at a time, unless the Lord directs otherwise.(Oct. 5, 1843.) DHC 6:46."
As for why the doctrine was not taught publicly the enemies of the Church thirsted for the Prophet's blood. The Nauvoo Expositor was nothing but an Anti-Mormon rag who's main purpose was to stir up the mobs so the Saints could be driven from Nauvoo just as they had been from Jackson County, Far West, and Kirtland. Why should the Saints or the Prophet reveal a practise that would be a pretex for the mob to burn their homes and kill them or drive them from the state. At the time it was not presented to the Church because not all the Church at the time was required to live it. The Prophet Joseph or any of the Saints who practised plural marriage as instructed by the Lord, were not adulterers, they were commanded to do what they did by God just as Abraham and Jacob were. You can believe it or not, but do not insult the Prophet of God or the Church by claiming that the reason it was started was because "Smith had a strong physical or emotional desire to live that lifestyle with multiple partners in a secret practice." This accusation is very offensive and is a base lie. You may think it, but you cannot prove it. And as far as D&C 132 being in the canon, that is not something for you to decide, God is the one in charge. With all due respect to the CofC or RLDS or whatever they call themselves they are mistaken if they say the Prophet did not teach or live that law (plural marriage). He did and until 1890 the true Church also taught it. So don't try to rewrite history.

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Lifeonaplate-I am not satisfied the 1831 revelation was meant to foreshadow polygamy. The one reputed text of it was written from memory years after the event and in Utah. And even if Joseph Smith had a revelation on it in 1831 it could have been from the Devil, or man. Such revelations need to be tested before being considered the word of God. Him speculating about the restoration of polygamy in 1830's would hardly mean that he had not decieved himself.

I have a copy of Bushman's RSR.

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Lifeonaplate-I am not satisfied the 1831 revelation was meant to foreshadow polygamy. The one reputed text of it was written from memory years after the event and in Utah. And even if Joseph Smith had a revelation on it in 1831 it could have been from the Devil, or man. Such revelations need to be tested before being considered the word of God. Him speculating about the restoration of polygamy in 1830's would hardly mean that he had not decieved himself.

I have a copy of Bushman's RSR.

Your position, given your Church, doesn't come as a shock. See Lightbearer's quote above.

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From my reading of various sources, including the Lds "History of the Church", it appears that Smith "received" the revelation on plural marriage in June (or July?) of 1843. (Today's version of the BOM seems to suggest it could have been earlier though.)

Was this revelation ever "voted on or ratified" by the appropriate authorities with the church at that time? If so, when and where was this done and why did it take somewhere between 21 years (1831) and 9 years (1843) before being announced by the church after they moved to the Utah territory? If it was not voted on, on what authority was it cannonized?

The D&C section was presented before the Church during General Conference for sustaining vote in 1852.

â??On the second day of the conference, under the direction of President Brigham Young, Orson Pratt made the public announcement that the Church was practicing plural marriage under commandment of God. â?¦ Brigham Young then spoke giving a brief history concerning the revelation on celestial marriage. Thomas Bullock, a clerk in the historian's office, then read the revelation to the congregation for their sustaining vote.â?

Church History in the Fulness of Times

Student Manual

The History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

http://www.ldsces.org/inst_manuals/chft/manualindex.asp

See also my blog essay footnotes 7-11 and surrounding discussion. http://www.mormonandcatholic.org/part-1-motivation/

I wouldn't assign very much import to the reading of the revelation to the High Council in Nauvoo because there was subsequent backpedaling, such as treating the revelation being more about commentary on Abraham's polygamy than a green light authorizing modern polygamy.

Gregory Smith's polygamy paper is a good resource for understanding public denials and the need for secrecy. See http://www.fairlds.org/Misc/Polygamy_Proph...varication.html . I have been helping--a little bit--Dr. Smith get a presentation together for the Miller-Eccles group and I think he has some new, impressive analysis and research to present, but I don't want to spoil anything.

Perhaps a new piece on the Article on Marriage should be written, especially given Bradshaw's BYU Studies article about marriage in Kirtland. I participated on a good thread here awhile back where I mused about some of the implications. Since then I have found some interesting wrinkles.

Hope this helps.

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What about this quote?

(Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section Six 1843-44 Pg.323) "Gave instructions to try those persons who were preaching, teaching, or practicing the doctrine of plurality of wives; for, according to the law, I hold the keys of this power in the last days; for there is never but one on earth at a time on whom the power and its keys are conferred; and I have constantly said no man shall have but one wife at a time, unless the Lord directs otherwise.(Oct. 5, 1843.) DHC 6:46."

You have to be careful using this quote because the phrase "unless the Lord directs otherwise." is not in the original source.

Walked up and down St[reet] with Scribe and gave instructions to try those who were preaching, teaching, or practicing the doctrine of plurality of wives on this Law. Joseph forbids it and the practice thereof. No man shall have but one wife. [rest of page blank] {page 116} (Scott H. Faulring, ed., An American Prophet's Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith, 417)

That is not to say that such an idea wasn't understood by those in Joseph's inner circle. For example according to Ehat's Thesis footnote 159:

George A. Smith observed that when Joseph Smith was confronted with this passage from the Book of Mormon, the Prophet would cite the passage in that chapter that said, "For if it will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people......... (Jacob 2:30), and follow this by saying, "God has commanded us" (George A. Smith to Joseph Smith III, 9 October 1869, Historian's Office Letterpress Copybooks, Church Archives).

Even William Law read between the lines on a similar occasion as Ehat wrote:

"[We] were not doing anything in the plurality of wife business now,"(375) Hyrum said in an attempt to encourage Law to return to full fellowship. Hyrum showed William the denial published in the Times and Seasons. William recorded his response in his diary. "then I came to examine the piece refered [sic] to I found that it amounted to this, that no one should preach or practice such things unless by revelation (of course through Hyrum or Joseph)."(376)

(375) William Law, Diary, 29 March 1844.

(376) Ibid.

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With my Community of Christ common consent really does mean members have a sayso before major practice is changed. In the LDS Church changes were made to the church rules in regards to marriage, and the members were obliged to go along with it. The LDS change from monogamy to plural marriage was very theocratic.

The Community of Christ today does not insist on Joseph Smith's innocence of plural marriage. We have many leaders and members who feel he was involved. Jame's Whitehead had said Bishop Whitney had showed him the original of D.&C. 132 briefly at Winter Quarters. He said the one in the LDS D.&C. he later read had been at some time altered to sanction mortal polygamy. The reputed plural wives claim's had gotten heard by a U.S, judge in the Temple Lot case. For legal reason's he rejected the claim's of the wives to being wives.

What changed for us was access our historians had to documents like William Clayton's Nauvoo Journal. Those who felt they were authentic came to distrust our traditional testimony for Joseph's innocence.

Joseph Smith 3rd in his interview with Melissa Lott Willis had stated the possibility his father had taken a number of platonic plural wives. His idea was that some of these time and for eternity sealings were only intended as arrangements, or associations for worlds to come. He was hesitant to accept the earthly part of the allegations because he distrusted the authenticity of D.&C. 132, and some of the other testimony. I myself feel his concerns were well founded based on concerns about the best of what he knew. I am really not impresed with the stack of affidavits regarding Joseph Smith's guilt. The tougher documents like William Clayton's Nauvoo Journal are harder to discount.

I am open to the possibility William Clayton creatively edited his journal at some point. I see a few odd things in the journal that struck me as odd. I bought the copy of the journal from Signature Book's. The Nauvoo Journal probably is authentic, but he knew later LDS historians would have access to them. That leaving of information that agreed with the LDS side of history would have provided motivation to tamper with documents. Things like conflicts betwen Joseph and Emma over polygamy, the pregnancy of William Clayon's plural wife are mentioned in the journal.

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CoC has pretty much distanced themselves from anything that people might find odd. For example: The Book of Mormon.

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CoC has pretty much distanced themselves from anything that people might find odd. For example: The Book of Mormon.

Our First Presidency recently and strongly re-affirmed the Book of Mormons status as scripture. I don't see the distancing you do. My missionary set of Community of Christ scriptures had a copy of the Book of Mormon with them. I am currently reading the Book of Mormon.

http://www.cofchrist.org/ourfaith/scripture.asp

We rejected polygamy since the 19th century so no new distancing exists there.

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