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James Banta

Exaltaion requirements

Requirement for Exaltation  

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  1. 1. Must a person be a polygamist (At least in heart) to receive exaltation



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James,

I just read pages 268 & 269 several times through and I have to say that I did not read it the same way you did, although I understand why you have concluded what you have about polygamy.

President Young talks about polygamy referring to his having seen the revelation and realizing the great trials that the practice of it would bring. He then goes on to reference the blessings of Abraham as those which only the most faithful of men will receive. He talks about the hardness of the doctrine and warns of those who would live on the margins of Mormonism, refusing to exercise faith in case the church should soon be broken up by the government.

What I am reading - at least in this portion - is a warning about being lukewarm in the faith. President Young is saying that you must unconditionally embrace the revelations and live the commandments as they have been revealed or you are not going to receive the blessings of Abraham and the faithful.

The very fact that he talks about the theoretical acceptance of polygamy - even if you aren't actually practicing it - shows that this part of the discourse is not about that particular doctrine as much as it is about complete trust and faith in the will of God.

For comparative purposes, consider this example: The Mosaic law required many ritualistic acts that are no longer considered salvational. Moses would have been perfectly correct to tell the children of Israel that they couldn't be saved without an animal and an altar - even though we know that this is accurate only insofar as animal sacrifice was an act of faith. Hindsight, through the lens of the New Testament clarifies, that salvation comes only through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and the ritualistic acts of atonement were a symbolic foreshadowing and not literally atoning acts.

If the children of Israel refused to live the Mosaic law and the 19thC mormons refused to live the law they were taught, neither would inherit the blessings reserved for the most faithful.

If Brigham Young was speaking to future Mormons and his words are applicable to those who lived after polygamy was abolished, why don't we hold Moses to the same standard. Shouldn't Moses have known that dead sheep didn't really pay for sins?

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Of course I know it is impossible to understand for you but I will try to explain it. First the Lord has not required the members of His Church to live the law of plural marriage since 1890. Even then it was not required of all members. Nowhere in scriptures either ancient or modern does it say that plural marriage is a requirement for exaltation. However one thing is required and that is the willingness to keep all of His commandments and to uphold His prophets and apostles. In Brigham Youngs day if God commanded one to live the law of plural marriage then it was a requirement for exaltation. In our day it is not commanded, in fact if someone were to try to live that lifestyle they will be excommunicated from the Church and damned by God for immorality. Odd as it may seem we are not led by a "book" or even the Standard Works, we are led by Revelation from God through His authorized servants. So your "Biblical" standard is totally meaningless to us. You do not speak for God and your private interpretation of the Bible is like "leaves crackling under a pot" to us. The Bible was a product of the Church not the Constitution of it. You look on "polygamy" as some sort of cultural way of life of Mormons. It is not and has not been since 1890. The only way we live plural marriage is if a man marries a wife in the New and Everlasting Covenant and she dies and he remarries under the same Covenant. Then both wives would rightfully be sealed to him in spite of earth and hell. If you really want to understand the principle of Eternal Marriage (not necessarily the same thing as Plural Marriage) I suggest you carefully read D&C 132. It describes both, the principle of Eternal Marriage or the New and Everlasting Covenant of Marriage (which is a requirement for exaltation) and the law of plural marriage which only applies to those who are so commanded to do so. The real heart of the matter is did Joseph Smith receive the law of plural marriage or did he make it up? I contend that it came from God just as it did to Abraham, Jacob, and Moses and for the same reasons. It did not become the law for all men, but the principle of obedience to God in all things does. One must accept the Lord's servants including Joseph, Brigham, and also Wilford (who revealed the Manifesto)to be accepted of God. So if you reject any revelations of any of these prophets then it is the same as rejecting God. So in that context, yes you must believe in revelation or you will not be exalted.

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I am not so slow as to knpw that the church has always taught that baptism is the saving ordiance to admission to the celestial kingdom.. I am speaking here of exaltation

CK, celestial kingdom = exaltation. Btw, Redefined is trying to help you out here. :P

BTW, you probably know that even when polygamy was practiced in the early church, only a small percentage of priesthood holders had more than one wife, and only when called upon to enter that covenant by their priesthood leaders. Usually that resulted in only one other wife for a total of two (of course, some had more). A man could not just go and collect another wife on his own recognizance; on the other hand, once called a man and his wife could not, ultimately speaking and after much prayer and soul searching I'm sure, have felt to refuse such a call. Thus, there were more marriages, temple marriages even, between just one wife and one husband. And of course they are just as eligible for the celestial kingdom (exaltation) as anyone else, based on their faith in Jesus Christ and faithfulness to Jesus Christ and the organization Christ restored to the earth.

Marriage and family CONSTITUTE exaltation (celestial kingdom). Getting married is not merely a ticket that gets punched in order to get through some pearly gates. It is in marriage and family unity that the greatest, godliest human joys are possible -- the fulness of that joy IS the celestial kingdom.

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I didn't hide the referance. Go look it up if you want more.. I quoted the part I thought was important.. IHS jim

James I need to see it all in context. It might make quite a difference. You wouldn't like that if I did that to your beliefs.

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James I need to see it all in context. It might make quite a difference. You wouldn't like that if I did that to your beliefs.

MRSR,

You can read JOD online at byu.edu but it's PDF so you can't cut and paste or I'd have done that already. Go here. Browse by publication and click Journal of Discourses. When the next page loads, click volume 11. Then scroll down the left sidebar until you see the words "Delegate Hooper- Beneficial effects of Polygamy - Final redemption of Cain" click the plus sign and the page numbers will be listed. The exact quote ames is using is on page 269 but the context starts from at least p. 268

I'd give you a more direct link but the pages are opening in a secondary window so I think if I link it will just take you to the main JOD page anyway.

MnG

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CK, celestial kingdom = exaltation. Btw, Redefined is trying to help you out here. :P

BTW, you probably know that even when polygamy was practiced in the early church, only a small percentage of priesthood holders had more than one wife, and only when called upon to enter that covenant by their priesthood leaders. Usually that resulted in only one other wife for a total of two (of course, some had more). A man could not just go and collect another wife on his own recognizance; on the other hand, once called a man and his wife could not, ultimately speaking and after much prayer and soul searching I'm sure, have felt to refuse such a call. Thus, there were more marriages, temple marriages even, between just one wife and one husband. And of course they are just as eligible for the celestial kingdom (exaltation) as anyone else, based on their faith in Jesus Christ and faithfulness to Jesus Christ and the organization Christ restored to the earth.

Marriage and family CONSTITUTE exaltation (celestial kingdom). Getting married is not merely a ticket that gets punched in order to get through some pearly gates. It is in marriage and family unity that the greatest, godliest human joys are possible -- the fulness of that joy IS the celestial kingdom.

I find it interesting when a non-member like me has to teach LDS doctrine to members of the church.. According to Smith there are three levels withing the CK.. The highest of those levels is exaltation. Baptism is the ordinance that opens the way to the CK and the return to Heavenly Father. Smith taught that many would enter the CK as ministering servants to those who gain a higher level of salvation. But to reach exaltation and become a God yourself requires Temple ordinances and Celestial Marriage.. I have quotes from Brigham Young that say that plural marriage is also necessary.. That is why I asked the question to see if the members of the Church still feel that being a polygamist or being a polygamist in your heart is still required for exaltation.. I am in agreement with you that salvation is by God's grace through faith but that is not the teaching of the LDS church.. A good reference for my words is the 131st section of the D&C.. I quote:

D&C 131:1-4

In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees;

And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this border of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage];

And if he does not, he cannot obtain it.

He may enter into the other, but that is the end of his kingdom; he cannot have an increase.

I am sorry dear one but LDS doctrine has many facets and it sometimes hard to keep track of... IHS jim

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I find it interesting when a non-member like me has to teach LDS doctrine to members of the church..

Oh, please, do teach us what we believe! Did you even read Maidservant's post on the context of BY's statement? Do you understand the difference between the New and Everlasting Covenant and plural marriage? Obviously not on either point. The N&EC is not plural marriage. Plural marriage can be a practice under the N&EC but only as commanded by God. Otherwise it is not practiced, but he N&EC has not changed.

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Of course I know it is impossible to understand for you but I will try to explain it. First the Lord has not required the members of His Church to live the law of plural marriage since 1890. Even then it was not required of all members. Nowhere in scriptures either ancient or modern does it say that plural marriage is a requirement for exaltation. However one thing is required and that is the willingness to keep all of His commandments and to uphold His prophets and apostles. In Brigham Youngs day if God commanded one to live the law of plural marriage then it was a requirement for exaltation. In our day it is not commanded, in fact if someone were to try to live that lifestyle they will be excommunicated from the Church and damned by God for immorality. Odd as it may seem we are not led by a "book" or even the Standard Works, we are led by Revelation from God through His authorized servants. So your "Biblical" standard is totally meaningless to us. You do not speak for God and your private interpretation of the Bible is like "leaves crackling under a pot" to us. The Bible was a product of the Church not the Constitution of it. You look on "polygamy" as some sort of cultural way of life of Mormons. It is not and has not been since 1890. The only way we live plural marriage is if a man marries a wife in the New and Everlasting Covenant and she dies and he remarries under the same Covenant. Then both wives would rightfully be sealed to him in spite of earth and hell. If you really want to understand the principle of Eternal Marriage (not necessarily the same thing as Plural Marriage) I suggest you carefully read D&C 132. It describes both, the principle of Eternal Marriage or the New and Everlasting Covenant of Marriage (which is a requirement for exaltation) and the law of plural marriage which only applies to those who are so commanded to do so. The real heart of the matter is did Joseph Smith receive the law of plural marriage or did he make it up? I contend that it came from God just as it did to Abraham, Jacob, and Moses and for the same reasons. It did not become the law for all men, but the principle of obedience to God in all things does. One must accept the Lord's servants including Joseph, Brigham, and also Wilford (who revealed the Manifesto)to be accepted of God. So if you reject any revelations of any of these prophets then it is the same as rejecting God. So in that context, yes you must believe in revelation or you will not be exalted.

I have evidence that the church not just sanctioned plural marriage after 1890 but that it was preformed by GAs after that date... IHS jim

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James I need to see it all in context. It might make quite a difference. You wouldn't like that if I did that to your beliefs.

As long as you give me a referance I am fine with any quote you use.. IHS jim

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I have evidence that the church not just sanctioned plural marriage after 1890 but that it was preformed by GAs after that date... IHS jim

Gee, so do the rest of us. But we also know the context. Do you?

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Oh, please, do teach us what we believe! Did you even read Maidservant's post on the context of BY's statement? Do you understand the difference between the New and Everlasting Covenant and plural marriage? Obviously not on either point. The N&EC is not plural marriage. Plural marriage can be a practice under the N&EC but only as commanded by God. Otherwise it is not practiced, but he N&EC has not changed.

I guess you didn't read what Maidservant said.. I corrected her on what the Celestial Kingdom is taught as being not what she said about Polygamy.. I will tell you just what I told her the Celestial kingdom is not just exaltation. There are two level or degrees lower than that.. I quoted Smith's "revelation" on that topic in Section 131 of the D&C.. Go read it if you believe me to be false.. I quoted it right off the LDS scriptures page.. You didn't know this either? IHS jim

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I have evidence that the church not just sanctioned plural marriage after 1890 but that it was preformed by GAs after that date... IHS jim

And when found out was stopped. Just like every other church on earth you have members and sometime leaders who do stupid and wrong things. It is you point that this makes the chuch "unture". How many "strict' Bible types are divorced or have commited adultry, does this exclude them from evey being in a debate about "one man one wife". The Bible is clear on this teaching as well. But I never see this toic discussed to any great deatail.

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I find it interesting when a non-member like me has to teach LDS doctrine to members of the church.. According to Smith there are three levels withing the CK.. The highest of those levels is exaltation. Baptism is the ordinance that opens the way to the CK and the return to Heavenly Father. Smith taught that many would enter the CK as ministering servants to those who gain a higher level of salvation. But to reach exaltation and become a God yourself requires Temple ordinances and Celestial Marriage.. I have quotes from Brigham Young that say that plural marriage is also necessary.. That is why I asked the question to see if the members of the Church still feel that being a polygamist or being a polygamist in your heart is still required for exaltation.. I am in agreement with you that salvation is by God's grace through faith but that is not the teaching of the LDS church.. A good reference for my words is the 131st section of the D&C.. I quote:

D&C 131:1-4

In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees;

And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this border of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage];

And if he does not, he cannot obtain it.

He may enter into the other, but that is the end of his kingdom; he cannot have an increase.

I am sorry dear one but LDS doctrine has many facets and it sometimes hard to keep track of... IHS jim

I am unable to find a refrence for polygamy being required in teh D&C verses you quoted. I find one for teh N&EC, but not one for plural marriage. James if you are going to "teach" us something you need to at least read and understand waht is being talked about here.

At least you got most of it right. I will bold the parts you got right. The latterafter the bolded part is not church doctrine. I am not a polygmasit so how would it be required for me?

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I corrected her on what the Celestial Kingdom is taught as being not what she said about Polygamy.

As you know, the teachings of the church are what can be found at General Conference as well as the Standard Works and what is in approved manuals for lesson materials. JOD and anything that is not currently being brought forward and confirmed by our current leaders, from past prophets is not a teaching of the Church. The following is the blurb from lds.org under "Gospel Topics" as to what is the teaching of the church on Polygamy.

"The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. At certain times and for His specific purposes, God, through His prophets, has directed the practice of plural marriage (sometimes called polygamy), which means one man having more than one living wife at the same time. In obedience to direction from God, Latter-day Saints followed this practice for about 50 years during the 1800s but officially ceased the practice of such marriages after the Manifesto was issued by President Woodruff in 1890. Since that time, plural marriage has not been approved by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and any member adopting this practice is subject to losing his or her membership in the Church." (there is also Additional Information and references under this Gospel Topic blurb.)

Polygamy is still a theological point, but it is not doctrine nor a teaching today. And, as you know, the LDS church is all about Today and modern revelation. If the leaders of the Church today (Pres. Monson) can say what they say and publish what they publish regarding polygamy today while being aware of such chapters as D&C 131 and 132, then as Saints we can be assured we have what we need to reach our full potential and eligibility for the CK and exaltation. By the way, in my personal view there is nothing instrinsically moral in either polygyny, polygamy nor polyandry. I think the concept of monogamy as superior or wholesome is Victorian not godly. While I also realize that God is going to and has given instructions on marriage and sexual format as it is a very serious matter, we are babes playing with fire, so I, as a disciple of Christ, need to follow the instructions from God currently on the matter.

I will tell you just what I told her the Celestial kingdom is not just exaltation. There are two level or degrees lower than that..

You are, of course, not wrong; however, the terms and concept of celestial kingdom and exaltation are used interchangeably. Most LDS don't sit and think, "Gee, am I getting into the first, second or third level of the CK?" Many LDS (not all), myself included, also see this idea of the three kingdoms to be a primer level symbolism device that allows us to, upon further study, experience and personal revelation, understand further the nature of our eternal potential. I repeat, the celestial kingdom is not like entering a door with the right ticket. Exaltation is the result of God's grace in our lives in the fullest degree in process of time and it will include the joy we have CREATED (not earned) in our marriage and family. Eternity is a place of "many mansions" (NT). We will enjoy what we have become, not merely get invited to a CK country/"heaven" club.

So the fact remains that, even if by some event we find out in some future that some type of plural marriage is a final step or requirement for our full potential as children of God (=exaltation)(which canNOT be stated definitely as being taught now, although some can still hold the belief that it is if they wish; I stick with my "I don't know"), the fact remains that the many, many, many saints and disciples of Christ who love their ONE spouse here on earth, whether in 1871 or 1971, have not been penalized in any way nor lost anything in terms of their pathway to exaltation; in fact, will experience exaltation ON earth if they truly love and serve their spouse because that perfect bond of marital love IS exaltation -- that's how you know you are in heaven -- if you are with the ones you love; heaven is ANYWHERE you are with your sweetheart and NOWHERE where you are parted from them.

You say that LDS doctrine facets are hard to keep track of. This is exactly what I wish people who confront our religion to be aware of. The teachings and doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ, with its restored priesthood authority from Christ, is NOT a collection of mythic homilies that we accept as catechism and take this childlike view of life, universe, God and potential. What we learn and believe is rich, nuanced and endless and we interact with basic doctrine (faith, repentence, baptism, etc) in living our daily lives in order to learn what is really true -- the SAME RICH, NUANCED relationship that all Christians and all godly persons of any religion have to their God and the knowledge God offers.

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In doing so Richard's points could be compromised.. I don't want to do that... IHS jim

why compromise my question and Just answer both.

If God asked you to be in a plural marriage relationship would you do it?

( In Heaven that is )

BTW - What is Richard's point?

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I guess you didn't read what Maidservant said..

Correction. I meant what mercyngrace said in post 51 where she puts BY's remarks in context.

And yes I do understand that the CK is three degrees as does maidservant. I also understand that in order to obtain the highest degree of glory one has to be sealed under the New and Everlasting Covenant. Plural marriage (to living spouses) is not only not a requirement but is forbidden today. You can read into things whatever you want but it doesn't make it so.

Do you even understand that the N&EC is "All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are not made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise..." I gets very tiresome to have some who don't believe anyway continuing to insist that "all" somehow refers only to plural marriage, which isn't even mentioned until verse 29.

If you take any quote from BY or anyone else you need to know his audience, the whole context of what he was saying and the time in which he was speaking. Context is everything. BY was not speaking to us today and we heed the words of the living prophet.

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No I want this to be just about polygamy.

So when another poster said "he's trying to ask whether you believe you have to do everything that God commands" and you said "Yes, that's what I was after!" you were in fact lying? The question is "only about polygamy", not about following God's commands?

Then no, I don't believe you must be "a polygamist at heart" in order to be saved. I believe that if God requires you to be a polygamist you must be a polygamist, and if He requires you NOT to be a polygamist, you must NOT be a polygamist.

It works the same way as many other of Gods commands.

When He required the Israelites to sacrifice animals, they would be breaking His commandments if they did not do so. Now that He no longer requires animal sacrifice we are not breaking any commandment if we do not do so.

Noah was required to build an ark. I am not required to build an ark. I am not breaking God's commandments if I don't build an ark.

I just don't believe that God changed His mind about such an important doctrine that much and that often.
Do you believe that God cannot require different things of different people under different circumstances?

During Christ's life there was no preaching to the gentiles. Just a few years later, Peter received a vision showing that he should now take the gospel to the gentiles. Do you believe God could not have changed His mind so quickly and that Peter was in error?

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I would think that puts them on the outside of the requirement to be Elders (Bishops) and Deacons of the Church.. IHS jim

"You would think"? That's kind of vague. No actual biblical reference for where ONE wife is required for the leaders of the church?

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And when found out was stopped. Just like every other church on earth you have members and sometime leaders who do stupid and wrong things. It is you point that this makes the chuch "unture". How many "strict' Bible types are divorced or have commited adultry, does this exclude them from evey being in a debate about "one man one wife". The Bible is clear on this teaching as well. But I never see this toic discussed to any great deatail.

From the Wilford Woodruff Journals, 1896-97 we know that President Wilford Woodruff took Madame Mountford for his wife in Sept. 1897.. Eight years after issueing the manifesto he betraied his own advice and his promise to obey the laws of the land.. I understand that the church would not want this listed in their Sunday School manuals..

Can the church be true if God allows his prophets to act in a manner than shows he is not true to his word?

"I hereby declare my intention to submit to those laws, and to use my influence with the members of the Church over which I preside to have them do likewise." OFFICIAL DECLARATION

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From the Wilford Woodruff Journals, 1896-97 we know that President Wilford Woodruff took Madame Mountford for his wife in Sept. 1897.. Eight years after issueing the manifesto he betraied his own advice and his promise to obey the laws of the land.. I understand that the church would not want this listed in their Sunday School manuals..

Can the church be true if God allows his prophets to act in a manner than shows he is not true to his word?

"I hereby declare my intention to submit to those laws, and to use my influence with the members of the Church over which I preside to have them do likewise." OFFICIAL DECLARATION

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Correction. I meant what mercyngrace said in post 51 where she puts BY's remarks in context.

And yes I do understand that the CK is three degrees as does maidservant. I also understand that in order to obtain the highest degree of glory one has to be sealed under the New and Everlasting Covenant. Plural marriage (to living spouses) is not only not a requirement but is forbidden today. You can read into things whatever you want but it doesn't make it so.

Do you even understand that the N&EC is "All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are not made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise..." I gets very tiresome to have some who don't believe anyway continuing to insist that "all" somehow refers only to plural marriage, which isn't even mentioned until verse 29.

If you take any quote from BY or anyone else you need to know his audience, the whole context of what he was saying and the time in which he was speaking. Context is everything. BY was not speaking to us today and we heed the words of the living prophet.

As I said I don't like teaching mormonism especially to mormons but I want to stay as close to truth as possible.. I know we will have differences as to what some of your historic doctrines and teachings really mean.. Maid servant made it clear the she believed that the CK = Exaltation.. If she won't believe me I hope she saw your words and believes you.. I may not always agree with you, you may even think I have a screw loose at times but I don't lie just to make a point.. I always back up my words with an LDS or Biblical reference..

I have had many LDS people tell me I have taken this quote out of context and I worded the question this thread was based on to reflect that a person might only have to be a 'polygamist of the heart'. But even asking it the way I did most of you still believe that even that is not required.. I agree with them, Jesus and only Jesus is needed to bring a person to the Father.. I know we won't agree with that but maybe we can agree having more that one wife or being one of many wives isn't the way to God.. IHS jim

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If God asked you to be in a plural marriage relationship would you do it?

Has James answered this question yet?

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Has James answered this question yet?

Nope, but I think he will.

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I can see your love for your church and family in your words.. I have nothing against that though I found much of your beliefs unbiblical.. We can discuss these things if you wish.. I would like to start with your comment about our God potential.. Would you like to explain that in more depth or would you like me to take it as what I think it means.. The possibility to become what the FATHER is now.. I also see this as saying that the FATHER has a God to Created (organized) Him.. and that God had a God who had a God who... In Isaiah God states clearly that:

Isaiah 44:8

Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.

The mighty God that doesn't know something that Joseph Smith did know? That is a hard pill to swallow.. IHS jim

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why compromise my question and Just answer both.

If God asked you to be in a plural marriage relationship would you do it?

( In Heaven that is )

BTW - What is Richard's point?

I thought I had made that clear.. Richard says a person must be a polygamist if not in pratice they must be a Polygamist of the heart. That is why I worded the question as I did.. IHS jim

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