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Thinking

Polygamy

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Recently I met with my bishop to discuss the advancement of my son in the aaronic priesthood. He took the opportunity to try to understand better why I would not be performing the ordination. Our conversation was very civil and I was very non-specific about my doubts because the meeting was about my son, not me. Out of the blue, he said that he thought it was possible that Joseph Smith made up the polygamy revelation. He added that it didn't matter whether polygamy was divinely inspired because the Church learned valuable lessons from its practice. The look on my face must have been one of shock and confusion because he abruptly ended our conversation and I left.

I have never heard this "theory" before and would not be surprised if he is the only TBM who believes it.

Comments?

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Very strange. I guess it is technically possible that every revelation that Joseph Smith was made up. Its possible that every claimed revelation in the Bible is made up. It would seem to me that with all the trouble that polygamy brought to Joseph Smith and the Church, that if it was made up it would have been quickly abandoned. Why make up revelations that only seem to bring more problems in. That does not make a lot of sense to me.

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I've often wondered why God punished Miriam and Aaron for their protests when Moses took a second wife...

“And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it. (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)”

“And the LORD spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out. And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth. And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them; and he departed.”

“And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous. And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned. Let her not be as one dead, of whom the flesh is half consumed when he cometh out of his mother’s womb. And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee. And the LORD said unto Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in again. And Miriam was shut out from the camp seven days: and the people journeyed not till Miriam was brought in again. And afterward the people removed from Hazeroth, and pitched in the wilderness of Paran.” (Numbers 12:1-16 AV)

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It seems that you bishop is going through his own questioning process. He also may know that you are somewhat openminded. Perhaps you once told him that you post on these boards. Be that as it may, I would have found it an honor to be such a thing by a bishop. What confused him was your reation. I am sure that he was looking forward to having a conversion with you about polygamy and your feelings about it.

Why did you react the way you did? You should have embraced the conversion and not shy away from it. My gosh, anyone who posts here regularly has seen and heard everything. Also, there is an idea out there that JS was perhaps misled about polygamy. I doubt it but the idea is out there.

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Wow...sounds like he trusted you enough to open up about his doubts. I'm sure you were caught off guard and unprepared :P , he probably believed you had similar issues and tried to relate to you using his own doubts. He was probably expecting or hoping for some comfort or follow up from your own end and when that was met with shock <_< rather than being reciprocated it...he headed for the hills.

I would make the effort to approach him and talk it over, especially when it seems like he went out on a limb in opening up. This could be your opportunity to build up your fellow man, help dispel his doubts or comfort him and let him know that God is still in control and His promises to us are faithful.

I've often wondered why God punished Miriam and Aaron for their protests when Moses took a second wife...

You can actually view this several different ways:

1. Miriam's initial argument could have been that Moses was marrying an outsider (racially motivated).

2. She was openly challenging his authority, since God spoke to her also.

3. Power struggle regarding who could speak in God's name seems to be the bigger issue.

4. In the end, Miriam is punished with Moses praying for her healing, solidifying God's excellent choice in choosing someone with ample humility and compassion over Miriam or Aaron the crowd follower.

5. Aaron got a slap on the wrist (humbled), giving him leprosy would have made him an unclean high priest...eesh!

6. Moses did a good thing by standing by his woman, not letting anybody in between their relationship.

That's my view anyway...

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Bishops are human, I should know... He obviously is having doubts about the doctrine of polygamy otherwise why mention it. I don't think he'd remain bishop long if he voiced those concerns for too long with say his stake president. A bishop needs to be "not a novice", one who is strong and sound in mind and doctrine. That said, the Lord calls men in with their weaknesses and maybe he will go and ponder the experience and re-think his approach. If D&C 132 is made up then you could safely assume anything else could be... It's not a good approach for a Bishop to take.

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Bishops are human, I should know... He obviously is having doubts about the doctrine of polygamy otherwise why mention it. I don't think he'd remain bishop long if he voiced those concerns for too long with say his stake president. A bishop needs to be "not a novice", one who is strong and sound in mind and doctrine. That said, the Lord calls men in with their weaknesses and maybe he will go and ponder the experience and re-think his approach. If D&C 132 is made up then you could safely assume anything else could be... It's not a good approach for a Bishop to take.

If the polygamy revelation was made up, then the whole thing was made up. My mind might be able to accept that JS' ego got the best of him when he was approached with the Kinderhook plates, that he misunderstood what was transpiring with the BoA, that he was simply trying to buoy up the troops with the Zelph story, etc., BUT I cannot accept that he was (1) a prophet of God and (2) manufactured the polygamy revelation from whole cloth to cover up adultery and engage in more of it. Like I mentioned in another thread, if I believed this, I would be gone.

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I've often wondered why God punished Miriam and Aaron for their protests when Moses took a second wife...

Who said Moses took a second wife? They were most likely referring to Zipporah herself since the word used was actually "Cushite" and not "Ethiopian." They thought he should have married an Israelite--not a foreigner.

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Well, Joseph Smith's revelation on polygamy is canonized. So, if you're a LDS and you reject it as a revelation, you might be in the wrong Church.

Having said that, maybe the Bishop was just thinking outloud and looking for input from you. I dont' think that's necessarily bad.

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Do you live in Utah?

In my former ward in Springville, the EQ teacher told us that the Supreme Court was "inspired" by the Lord Himself to confirm the Edmunds Act. Straight from the One who gave the revelation to now make it illegal.

When I protested, the bishop defended him. Maybe it's something in the water.

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that is crazy! I guess they're welcome to their opinion, but it doesn't line up with LDS historical or doctrinal belief at all.

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Do you live in Utah?

In my former ward in Springville, the EQ teacher told us that the Supreme Court was "inspired" by the Lord Himself to confirm the Edmunds Act. Straight from the One who gave the revelation to now make it illegal.

When I protested, the bishop defended him. Maybe it's something in the water.

THat is strange to say that. THat would be pure opinion on that matter. I have read nor heard this before.

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Not that ANY of us but the OP were there, but I didn't hear the Bishop's expression as a doubt. I saw it as a bridge he was holding out to the OP, as in, "You are still one of us. We love you. Don't go away. Believe in general even with the 'warts'." Like that.

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Not that ANY of us but the OP were there, but I didn't hear the Bishop's expression as a doubt. I saw it as a bridge he was holding out to the OP, as in, "You are still one of us. We love you. Don't go away. Believe in general even with the 'warts'." Like that.

And another reference to polygamy as a "wart" . . . Again, if polygamy was a grand revelation of a higher eternal law, etc. then why are we not singing in church about our wives and sister wives above, as we do about our mansions above? Why is it a "wart" if it is such a grand and eternal blessing and principle? Why does Elder Oaks not tell Helen Whitney and others that he looks forward to his life with his wives as they rule a universe together and that others can have the same blessings if they will consider the Church's teachings?

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Why is it a "wart" if it is such a grand and eternal blessing and principle?

Good question. I certainly don't consider it a wart and don't understand why members of the Church seem to be so anti-modern polygamy (other than the obvious reasons).

As for the OP, I have heard from several believing members now (mostly females) that they don't think polygamy was inspired so your bishop's statement doesn't surprise me. I agree with the posters who said he might have been trying to reach out to someone who he though had some more unconventional knowledge of Church history, maybe to build bridges or maybe because he has doubts.

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I assent with the sentiment that your bishop was likely extending some common ground. Perhaps he wanted to indirectly let you know of some of his own questions regarding aspects of Church history.

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I've often wondered why God punished Miriam and Aaron for their protests when Moses took a second wife...

Who said Moses took a second wife? They were most likely referring to Zipporah herself since the word used was actually "Cushite" and not "Ethiopian." They thought he should have married an Israelite--not a foreigner.

He may have had a wife before Zipporah, though I don't think they were criticizing him for being a polygamist, if that's what Zakusa meant by his comment. This is from the Old Testament student manual;

"According to Josephus, when Moses was a general of the Egyptian army in the attack against the Ethiopians, he married an Ethopian woman as a political alliance to end the war (see Josephus Flavuis Josephus Antiquities, bk. 2, chap. 10 par. 1).

The ostensible reason for Miriam's and Aaron's complaining was that the Ethiopians were non-Israelite descendants of Cush. The real reason for the complaint, however, seemed to have been jealousy motivated by Moses' position as spiritual leader and prophet of Israel" (201)

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Recently I met with my bishop to discuss the advancement of my son in the aaronic priesthood. He took the opportunity to try to understand better why I would not be performing the ordination. Our conversation was very civil and I was very non-specific about my doubts because the meeting was about my son, not me. Out of the blue, he said that he thought it was possible that Joseph Smith made up the polygamy revelation. He added that it didn't matter whether polygamy was divinely inspired because the Church learned valuable lessons from its practice. The look on my face must have been one of shock and confusion because he abruptly ended our conversation and I left.

I have never heard this "theory" before and would not be surprised if he is the only TBM who believes it.

Comments?

Need to pat him on the back for being honest!

:P

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Need to pat him on the back for being honest!

:P

Do you think that Bishops and other leaders who believe such things (e.g., some of JS' claimed revelations were not revelations at all) should get patted on the back for being "honest" by sharing those beliefs with the members over whom they have stewardship?

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Do you think that Bishops and other leaders who believe such things (e.g., some of JS' claimed revelations were not revelations at all) should get patted on the back for being "honest" by sharing those beliefs with the members over whom they have stewardship?

I think that it is perfectly okay with a person like 'Thinking'. I see no problem with it. :P

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Do you think that Bishops and other leaders who believe such things (e.g., some of JS' claimed revelations were not revelations at all) should get patted on the back for being "honest" by sharing those beliefs with the members over whom they have stewardship?

Honesty is always the best policy. Let the chips fall where they may. What is life if it is disguised in layers of deceit and dishonesty? It's not real. I'll take real and ugly any day over artificial prettiness.

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Honesty is always the best policy. Let the chips fall where they may. What is life if it is disguised in layers of deceit and dishonesty? It's not real. I'll take real and ugly any day over artificial prettiness.

Yeah, but I imagine that the SP would rather this honesty not take place with the membership of the ward, but that it take place with him (the SP) so that he can release the Bishop forthwith, as would likely be the case. I do not think there is room in the Church, as it stands as an organization at this moment, for Bishops who believe JS made up revelations. I think it was Pres Hinckley who said we are free to think these things, but not to share them with others?

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Do you think that Bishops and other leaders who believe such things (e.g., some of JS' claimed revelations were not revelations at all) should get patted on the back for being "honest" by sharing those beliefs with the members over whom they have stewardship?

Why wouldn't it be? At least he was honest, or maybe he was probing, or we just don't know all the details of that part. bishops' thoughts. Being the perfect saint does not necessarily make you the easiest person to reach out to... that is for sure.

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I just don't get the whole problem with polygamy. Quite simple really:

-It was practiced by Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David with the approval of the Lord.

-The Lord says in the BoM that it is okay if approved by Him.

-It is a revelation in the D&C through Joseph Smith, which is part of the LDS canon.

So, either the Lord has polygamy as an eternal principle or not and/or Joseph Smith is a prophet or not and established the church again in the latter-days. Not everything in the Gospel is easy, but it is true or it is not. Polygamy is a part of the doctrine.

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I just don't get the whole problem with polygamy. Quite simple really:

-It was practiced by Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David with the approval of the Lord.

-The Lord says in the BoM that it is okay if approved by Him.

-It is a revelation in the D&C through Joseph Smith, which is part of the LDS canon.

So, either the Lord has polygamy as an eternal principle or not and/or Joseph Smith is a prophet or not and established the church again in the latter-days. Not everything in the Gospel is easy, but it is true or it is not. Polygamy is a part of the doctrine.

Well, some of females state the following: "If I have to be one of several wives of my husband in order to be in the highest degree of glory, then I do not want to be there." (I am sure many have heard this statement. Some males may have the same view re having several wives, but certainly less :P)

So, if we want people to join the Church and part of the "sell" (forgive the term, but you know what I mean) is the "prize", we want the prize to be attractive. If exaltation meant living in what one would personally consider to be a "hellish" state (as some view the idea of living in a plural marriage situation), then exalation and that which leads to it would probably not be the chosen path for such one.

Thus, when one reads certain statements by certain prophets concluding that all who reach the highest degree of the CK will practice plural marriage, if one holds the aforementioned view of plural marriage ("hellish" state), one is likely to say "no thanks" to the LDS Gospel. Accordingly, you have one of the "problem" with polygamy.

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