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kamenraider

The Law Of Plural Marriage -- Suspended? Or Revoked?

  

75 members have voted

  1. 1. The priesthood law requiring plural marriage was...

    • suspended.
    • revoked.
    • neither suspended nor revoked -- only the practice of it was suspended by the Church.
    • I don't believe there is such a law.
    • Other (explain below)


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...There is and never was any "pure" Israelite blood.

Dunno about "never". (It would be dishonest to say that Jacob himself wasn't of pure Israelite blood - since he was, well, Israel.)

I do agree, however, with the main premise of your post.

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I believe in Joseph Smith and The Restored Gospel. Whether or not Plural Marriage was suspended or revoked. Although I don't practce it if God commanded this of me I would happily do it and not complain because I would do anything he ask of me. My husband refuses to become a member of the church and if I could I would be sealed to another man for eternity as long as I didn't have relations in this life with him. I just believe that I have my own agency and if I desire everlasting eternity with someone I should have the right too. I would love for my current husband to accept the Gospel but it's his choice. I just don't want to be left out. If that makes since... I leave this in my Father's hands :P

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As I understand it, while it is true that few were required to follow the law of polygamy on Earth, the law is a higher law which all of us will be required to follow in the CK.

And where on earth are all these extra women supposed to come from???

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Are you aware that the title for D&C 132 in earlier editions of the Doctrine and Covenants was "Revelation on the Eternity of the Marriage Covenant, Including a Plurality of Wives"? The present edition of the D&C has the words "as also plurality of wives".

Of course I am.

The revelation does, in deed, contain the Lord's instructions about "the Eternity of the Marriage Covenant" (vv. 3-27). The revelation also includes the Lord's explanation of the "Plurality of Wives" (vv. 28-64) in response to the question asked in v. 1.

Unfortunately, none of this has anything to do with your claim that the reason v.7 does not mention polygamy is because "polygamy is understood to be included in the law itself."

I've got to get to work right now but will hopefully get back to you soon with some more references for your CFR other than just the one above.

Still waiting.

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And where on earth are all these extra women supposed to come from???

Bilocation? :0)

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Of course I am.

The revelation does, in deed, contain the Lord's instructions about "the Eternity of the Marriage Covenant" (vv. 3-27). The revelation also includes the Lord's explanation of the "Plurality of Wives" (vv. 28-64) in response to the question asked in v. 1.

Unfortunately, none of this has anything to do with your claim that the reason v.7 does not mention polygamy is because "polygamy is understood to be included in the law itself."

Still waiting.

Sorry, haven't had much time to get to it yet, but I will later this evening. In the meantime, here's a quote for you:

Throughout the book, polygamy, plurality, celestial marriage, and patriarchal marriage are used synonymously to mean the marriage of multiple women to a single husband (including those few instances, just referred to, where some women were married to more than one man). This was the connotation given these terms by Mormons in the nineteenth century. When discussing the campaign against polygamy in the 1880s, and again at the time of the magazine crusade against Mormonism during the Progressive period, I will describe how the church altered the phrase celestial marriage to mean simply a union for eternity.

--B. Carmon Hardy, Solemn Covenant, Chicago: Univ. of Ill. Press 1992, pg. xxii.

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Sorry, haven't had much time to get to it yet, but I will later this evening. In the meantime, here's a quote for you:

Take your time.

Remember that we are discussing the scriptures, section 132 in particular, not the evolution of common colloquialisms in the church.

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Take your time.

Remember that we are discussing the scriptures, section 132 in particular, not the evolution of common colloquialisms in the church.

Well, what he appears to be implying is that there may have been an Orwellian shift in our use of the language.

Shift language, and you shift an entire message.

*If* there's any validity to that premise, than it would be extremely relevant to the discussion at hand.

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Well, what he appears to be implying is that there may have been an Orwellian shift in our use of the language.

Shift language, and you shift an entire message.

*If* there's any validity to that premise, than it would be extremely relevant to the discussion at hand.

I agree. Here's a few more quotes:

Like church control of politics, the principle and practice of plural marriage was firmly engrained in the Mormon community, and its alteration even by revelation was difficult. When church members spoke of celestial marriage or read Doctrine and Covenants Section 132, they thought of plurality of wives, not as Latter-day Saints do today, merely of marriage for time and eternity. 28

endnote:

28 The Doctrine and Covenants is a book of revelations given to Joseph Smith. First published in 1835, it went through a number of editions. The term "celestial marriage" was often used to refer to plural marriage since it related the practice to the highest degree of salvation in Mormon theology.

--Thomas G. Alexander, Mormonism in Transition: A History of the Latter-day Saints 1890-1930, Chicago: Univ. of Ill. Press 1986, pg. 11.

An important step was taken, however, when the meaning of the phrase "celestial marriage" was modified. Although some basis exists for saying otherwise, evidence is on the side of an early equation of the term with church-solemnized, polygamous relationships.107 The phrase referred to the plural households of the gods, a condition to which all Latter-day Saints should aspire.108 When William Adams took a second wife in 1864, he said he had "entered into the Celestial Order of Marriage."109 After the Reynolds case an article in the Millennial Star asserted, "Full well do they know that the Saints cannot give up plural, or rather the Celestial Order of Marriage without relinquishing their religion."110 It was "celestial marriage," the First Presidency said in 1882, that the Edmunds Act sought to forbid.111 In a revelation to President John Taylor, the superscript employed in the 1876 printing of Joseph Smith's 1843 revelation was repeated, giving divine sanction to language "including" the principle of plurality in the covenant of eternal marriage.112 At a meeting of the School of the Prophets in 1883, Apostle Franklin D. Richards condemned the term polygamy, saying it was a Gentile word. Saints, he insisted, should better say "Patriarchal or Celestial marriage."113 And children of polygamous parents have recalled that they were taught that not only were "celestial" and plural marriages the same thing but that those who refused to enter the principle would be disadvantaged in the world to come.114

Soon after passage of the Edmunds Act in 1882, an article in the Deseret News asserted that celestial marriage was not the same as plurality. Rather, Mormon authorities began saying that celestial marriage involved only a union for eternity and that this was what they taught their people. In his attempts to persuade Congress that Utah should be granted statehood, Franklin S. Richards insisted not only that plural marriage was permissive but that celestial marriage meant nothing more than being sealed to a single partner for eternity.115 This shift, taken as one of several moves designed to lessen hostility toward the Saints, would be confirmed after the turn of the century when, again, the church labored with its public image.

endnotes:

107 See, e.g., Charles W. Penrose, "Physical Regeneration," Mill. Star 29 (10 Aug. 1867): 497; "The Only Remedy," ibid. 29 (21 Sept. 1867): 593-94; Larson and Larson, Diary of Charles Lowell Walker, 1:433, 11 Nov. 1876; "Discourse by Prest. George Q. Cannon," DN, 25 June 1881; "We Do Not Believe in 'Polygamy,'" DN, 21 Dec. 1881; S. W. R., "Monogamy and Polygamy," DN, 24 Oct. 1885; JD 23:64 (John Taylor/1883).

108 Orson Spencer, Letters Exhibiting the Most Prominent Doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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I agree. Here's a few more quotes:

None of these quotes have anything to do with my CFR.

You claimed D&C 132:7 "does not mention polygamy because polygamy is understood to be included in the law itself . . .." That is not why the Lord does not mention polygamy in verse 7. Therefore, I posted a CFR so you could defend your claim. Unfortunately, nothing you have quoted even addresses verse 7, let alone responds to my CFR. If you have other relevant information, please post it. Otherwise I will have to consider my CFR unanswered.

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None of these quotes have anything to do with my CFR.

You claimed D&C 132:7 "does not mention polygamy because polygamy is understood to be included in the law itself . . .." That is not why the Lord does not mention polygamy in verse 7. Therefore, I posted a CFR so you could defend your claim. Unfortunately, nothing you have quoted even addresses verse 7, let alone responds to my CFR. If you have other relevant information, please post it. Otherwise I will have to consider my CFR unanswered.

Why does the Lord not mention polygamy in verse 7 then? Please enlighten me about this.

edit: What exactly do you take issue with, btw, -- my use of the word "because", or the idea that polygamy is included in the new and everlasting covenant of marriage?

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None of these quotes have anything to do with my CFR.

You claimed D&C 132:7 "does not mention polygamy because polygamy is understood to be included in the law itself . . .." That is not why the Lord does not mention polygamy in verse 7. Therefore, I posted a CFR so you could defend your claim. Unfortunately, nothing you have quoted even addresses verse 7, let alone responds to my CFR. If you have other relevant information, please post it. Otherwise I will have to consider my CFR unanswered.

Apparently, unanswered to you alone. The protestations are becoming tedious and hollow. The burden has shifted to you.

Earl

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I chose option four, for several reasons. First of all, I believe that God does not command any of us to either marry at all or to marry particular individuals. I believe it is a choice he leaves to our sole discretion. Second, I do not believe that God would condition anyone's right to marry several individuals on that person's faithfulness in the LDS faith. I believe that, generally speaking, God always has, and always will, permit consenting, mature, sane adults to enter into marriage contracts with the opposite sex as they see fit, whether that be with one or more partners, so long as there is no coercion involved and the relationship is truly consensual.

For those reasons, I think it is a fiction to imagine that God ever suddenly permitted (or for that matter, commanded) JS and other priesthood holders in the Church's early days to practice polygyny. I believe that they (along with every other sane, mature, consenting adult, whether in or out of the church) always had the moral right to enter into polygamous marriage.

As for the revocation of the practice of polygamy, history strongly suggests that the sole basis and concern was opposition by the U.S. government which was causing great problems for the Church. No other reason is given as best as I recall, even in the official declaration. So in any event, there is no legitimate reason to believe that God presently restrains members of the Church from practicing consensual polygamy for the so-called moral reasons which seem to underlie present-day popular perception among LDS members.

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After reading this thread I went and took a look at Section 132 and re-read it. I believe the law as it is referred to means marriage that is sealed by the authority and power of the Melchisidek Priesthood. Verse 62 illustrates that plural marriage is a subset of this law, as a man may receive other wives through the law. The law itself is not plural marriage, despite the numerous well-reseached quotes kamenraider supplied evidencing the fact that early saints felt otherwise. It would appear that they were incorrect.

I also do not believe that laws of God are similar to laws of man in the way they are "passed" or "enforced." (Using these terms for lack of a better term.) In other words, I believe the point of God's law is to get us to be righteous. God may, at His infinite wisdom and grace, choose to supplant one law in the form of another so as to get His children to be as righteous as they can - re: Mosaic Law vs. Christ's new law in Matthew. Under this auspice, I do not believe that plural marriage is a law - being sealed one to another by the Priesthood is the law. God has chosen to apply the subset of plural marriage at sundry times for reasons known to Him and equivocated upon by us. Today it is not required - a more apt description of the state of things rather than 'suspended' - which implies it will be re-instated - or 'revoked' which means that it has no bearing on us today. It does have bearing in that one man may be sealed to more than one woman through death or what have you.

Fascinating thread, though. Thank you, kamenraider, for bringing it up and hashing it out.

That's all I have to say.

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William James:

I believe the Bible pretty well establishes the requirement to marry.

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I chose option four, for several reasons. First of all, I believe that God does not command any of us to either marry at all or to marry particular individuals. I believe it is a choice he leaves to our sole discretion. Second, I do not believe that God would condition anyone's right to marry several individuals on that person's faithfulness in the LDS faith. I believe that, generally speaking, God always has, and always will, permit consenting, mature, sane adults to enter into marriage contracts with the opposite sex as they see fit, whether that be with one or more partners, so long as there is no coercion involved and the relationship is truly consensual.

For those reasons, I think it is a fiction to imagine that God ever suddenly permitted (or for that matter, commanded) JS and other priesthood holders in the Church's early days to practice polygyny. I believe that they (along with every other sane, mature, consenting adult, whether in or out of the church) always had the moral right to enter into polygamous marriage.

As for the revocation of the practice of polygamy, history strongly suggests that the sole basis and concern was opposition by the U.S. government which was causing great problems for the Church. No other reason is given as best as I recall, even in the official declaration. So in any event, there is no legitimate reason to believe that God presently restrains members of the Church from practicing consensual polygamy for the so-called moral reasons which seem to underlie present-day popular perception among LDS members.

I think that Church leaders realized what a big mistake polygamy had been. Joseph Smith thought along those lines towards the end of his life, Brigham Young is said to have considered stopping it, and Wilford Woodruff evidently did the same and acted on it. But what I'm wondering is how a principle like that could have been good and essential and eternal if it makes women FEEL BAD?

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But what I'm wondering is how a principle like that could have been good and essential and eternal if it makes women FEEL BAD?

I really don't get the arguement that if something makes someone 'feel bad' then it can't be from God. First, those people must never have read the bible because God and Jesus often say or do things that many people would consider 'mean' or 'uncaring' and they often require people to do things that are uncomfortable for them or which they don't want to do. Second, as long as there are people who feel edified or 'good' about the same topic, wouldn't that void the arguement that people's feelings about a doctrine show whether or not something comes from God?

Many people 'feel bad' about teachings that are true and many people 'feel good' about teachings that aren't-otherwise, we would all agree about what comes from God and what doesn't.

How other people 'feel' about things probably shouldn't be on our list of 'why something is or isn't of God'.

:P

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But what I'm wondering is how a principle like that could have been good and essential and eternal if it makes women FEEL BAD?

I don't think all women felt bad about it. I don't think all women feel bad about it if they practice it now.

There are people that are in non-polygamous marriages that feel bad in it, both men and women.

I think it depends on the people involved. Same for the other poly-* combinations.

The one thing is that it should not be forced. That is the only restriction I would put on it.

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After reading this thread I went and took a look at Section 132 and re-read it. I believe the law as it is referred to means marriage that is sealed by the authority and power of the Melchisidek Priesthood. Verse 62 illustrates that plural marriage is a subset of this law, as a man may receive other wives through the law. The law itself is not plural marriage, despite the numerous well-reseached quotes kamenraider supplied evidencing the fact that early saints felt otherwise. It would appear that they were incorrect.

I also do not believe that laws of God are similar to laws of man in the way they are "passed" or "enforced." (Using these terms for lack of a better term.) In other words, I believe the point of God's law is to get us to be righteous. God may, at His infinite wisdom and grace, choose to supplant one law in the form of another so as to get His children to be as righteous as they can - re: Mosaic Law vs. Christ's new law in Matthew. Under this auspice, I do not believe that plural marriage is a law - being sealed one to another by the Priesthood is the law. God has chosen to apply the subset of plural marriage at sundry times for reasons known to Him and equivocated upon by us. Today it is not required - a more apt description of the state of things rather than 'suspended' - which implies it will be re-instated - or 'revoked' which means that it has no bearing on us today. It does have bearing in that one man may be sealed to more than one woman through death or what have you.

Fascinating thread, though. Thank you, kamenraider, for bringing it up and hashing it out.

That's all I have to say.

Hi Mars! Thanks for thanking me. (LOL) It is fascinating, isn't it?

Above, you wrote that "the law as it is referred to means marriage that is sealed by the authority and power of the Melchisidek Priesthood", and that "The law itself is not plural marriage".

What, then, do you do with this quote (this revelation was included in some Church-published editions of the D&C in Europe):

You may appoint Seymour B. Young to fill up the vacancy in the presiding quorum of Seventies, if he will conform to my law: for it is not meet that men who will not abide my law shall preside over my priesthood; and then proceed forthwith and call to your aid any assistance that you may require from among the Seventies to assist you in your labors in introducing and maintaining the gospel among the Lamanites throughout the land.

--Revelation to President John Taylor at Salt Lake City, UT, October 13, 1882, Unpublished Revelations, comp. by Fred C. Collier, 2nd ed., SLC: Collier's Publishing Co. 1981, pg. 138.

At that time, in 1882, Seymour B. Young had already been married in the temple (in 1867 to Ann Riter). He would go on to take a plural wife (Abbie Wells), in obedience to this revelation, in 1884.

This sheds some additional light on what might be meant by "the law" or "my law" (if D&C 132 is not clear enough about it, which I think it is), doesn't it?

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This might seem like mental gymanastics, but I still see 'law' - even in that unpublished revelation - as marriage sealed by the power of the Priesthood. Working with only the facts that have been presented, I draw the conclusion that the Lord required plural marriage of Seymour, and so it was binding on him. It was necessary that the plural marriage be done through the law of marriage itself - sealed by the Priesthood.

When I read D&C 132, I draw the conclusion that there is Marriage through the Holy Priesthood (the law) and Plural Marriage through the Holy Priesthood as a subset or appendage to the former. When the latter is in effect, or when the Lord requires it of a person, then that becomes the law, because it is required. I'm really trying not to be circular. What the Lord requirse is law and what the Lord does not require is not law. Since the building of the Temple, the Lord has always required marriage through sealing - the law. He has, at some times and for some people, required plural marriage - the law for those upon whom the requirement is levied.

Two meanings to the word 'law'? It fits, given what I have knowledge of.

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The most important thing TBM's MUST AGREE on is that Thomas S. Monson is the "one" who has the keys and if he ain't sealing plural marriages then no one is!! Any one who claims to be living plural marriage today is sadly mistaken. I am not wrong about this.

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The most important thing TBM's MUST AGREE on is that Thomas S. Monson is the "one" who has the keys and if he ain't sealing plural marriages then no one is!! Any one who claims to be living plural marriage today is sadly mistaken. I am not wrong about this.

Are you stating this as fact, or as opinion?

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But what I'm wondering is how a principle like that could have been good and essential and eternal if it makes women FEEL BAD?

I'm no fan of "the principle", but I don't agree with your statement. Yes, polygamy was very hard for many women and I'm sure it did make some women feel "bad", but Brigham Young was very liberal in granting divorces to those women if they wanted out. One of my ancestresses resisted polygamy until she was about forty years old, even though she was under considerable pressure to accept it. Her husband waited until he had her full consent and support before taking another wife. She struggled with the concept for years, but when she did finally accept it, she did so whole heartedly and felt very "GOOD" about it. When she died in childbirth a few years later, her children were all well cared for by the other wives.

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When did the Lord "command otherwise"? CFR.

The command of the Lord to institute plural marriage was the command. The law of the Lord is that when the Lord gives a man wives, they may have them lawfully in His sight. Jacob quotes the Lord as saying that it was His will that the Nephites not engage in plural marriage. If the Lord wishes to implement it to raise up seed, as He did with Abraham and others, He will command His people; otherwise, they will have but one wife. "For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none," the Lord said.

Why did the Lord forbid multiple wives? My guess is that the Nephites found themselves in a land with other people, and that the Lord did not want them to intermarry for the purpose of raising up seed. Whatever the reason, it was clear that the Lord was establishing a law that the Nephites lived by until their destruction.

Yes D&C 132:7 gives the conditions of the law. It does not mention polygamy because polygamy is understood to be included in the law itself and the same conditions apply to both the first, and all subsequent sealings. ... Other parts of the revelation do deal with having multiple wives. The fact that this verse mentions "a wife" does not contradict those other parts of the revelation at all. The reason it says "wife" is simply because plural marriage sealings take place for each wife separately and multiple wives are never sealed to a man simultaneously.

The revelation regards the sealing power. If the Lord gives more than one wife to a man, then the sealing power extends to those wives. If a man marry only one wife, the same sealing power applies. Either way, the Lord leaves the matter in His hands. When He revoked plural marriage, He did not revoke the sealing power. Even today, if a man marries one wife and she passes on, he may take another wife and be sealed to her as well. The revelation itself is not solely about plural marriage, but about the sealing power that binds men, women and families.

Are you saying that because receiving only one marriage sealing would be an incomplete state, that it would be pointless to do any temple work? The second anointing, which is also essential to receive for exaltation, was hardly given at all during the 1930's and 1940's, yet it was still a worthwhile endeavor to do other temple work during that time.

Not at all. As for the second anointing, I don't know why it was "hardly given" during the 30s-40s, nor do I know that such records are made public. I'm not doubting you, I just don't know whether such records are available. One of the general authorities told the son of a friend of mine who died several years ago, "It's too bad we didn't arrange for his second endowment." I don't know how often it happens today, but from his comment, it apparently does.

Temple ordinances were also only given to a few at first. The opportunity to practice polygamy expanded as more people received their endowments and sealings. The opportunity to enter it was not withheld from any member of the church who was endowed and kept their covenants.

As was the higher priesthood also generally withheld at first. The Lord apparently wanted to give the priesthood freely to the people during Moses' time, but the people rejected the Lord and Moses. I think things now are on the right track. As for the majority of people wanting to live it when it was revealed, I don't know of one. Neither Brigham Young nor Joseph Smith wanted to.

Are you sure about that? I thought that the vote to sustain OD 2, the manifesto, was nearly unanimous.

You're right. Those who had already entered into it wanted to continue in it, and there were many who were convinced that Wilford Woodruff was a fallen prophet. Seems every time the Lord changes direction, people fall off the wagon. Even so, the vote was in sustaining the prophet of the Lord, not in whether plural marriage continued or not.

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