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John Larsen

Joseph F. Smith on Plural Marriage

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To take the position that one will NEVER live it again, one is basically telling the Lord what He can reveal.

I'm agreeing with Richard. The law has it's purpose, and someday, he might ask you to live it. We shouldn't be telling him what he can and can't do.

As I believe right now the Lord does not ask it of us, that is fine with me, but I should not be unwilling to listen to him if he does ask it of me.

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The real question is what equals a revelation?

Is every opinion of a man revelation?

I say no, I have many opinions on things that have nothing to do with the revelations I have received for my life from the Holy Ghost.

I believe that socialism is a crime against humanity, I believe this very deeply. I openly will discuss this topic with much passion at times, this does not make it revelation from God but my opinion on a subject from my temporal knowledge.

Joseph F. Smith was speaking from his personal beliefs here, not from the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. If he was speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost he would of told us with the famous "Thus sayith the Lord . . ." preface.

At this point his words would have to be accepted by unanimous decision of the General Authorities as the will of the Lord, and sustained by the Body of Christ to be a revelation.

Many vicious detractors like to act like every word out of a prophet's mouth is revelation. This is not biblical or logical, a prophet is still a man or woman, they still have there own opinions and beliefs outside of the revelations they receive from the Lord.

So the answer to your question is, President Smith's revelations are not wrong.

This statement he made is wrong, the reason why it can be wrong and none of his revelations be wrong is that this statement is not a revelation!

Had you lived during his day, would you have been inclined to make the same emphatic statements about your living prophet?

Since the prophets don

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"Some people have supposed that the doctrine of plural marriage was a sort of superfluity, or non-essential to the salvation of exaltation of mankind. In other words, some of the Saints have said, and believe, that a man with one wife, sealed to him by the authority of the Priesthood for time and eternity, will receive an exaltation as great and glorious, if he is faithful, as he possibly could with more than one. I want here to enter my solemn protest against this idea, for I know it is false."

Joseph F. Smith (Prophet, Seer and Revelator)

JD 20:28

Was Smith right or wrong?

It is essential if you are commanded to do it and it is damning it you are commaned not to do it. Read Jacob 2.

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If he was a Prophet, then how were his revelations wrong?

Where in that quote was this protest said to be a revelation, as opposed to an interpretation of a revelation?

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Where in that quote was this protest said to be a revelation, as opposed to an interpretation of a revelation?

Hey Nack,

I think Lareliw is relatively unfamiliar with LDS doctrine, especially as described here on this forum. She may need some room for error.

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The Gospel is not an eternal truth, but dependent upon date and time? Is there any truth or moral that is not relative in Mormonism?

Marriage is the eternal principle. However, the application of that principle can vary from time to time as it does with plural marriage. It's not a different doctrine, it's a different application of an existing one. As to plural marriage in the Celestial Kingdom, we know that it will exist, but is not necessary for exaltation here.

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When I was studying in America, I took an Institute class from Dr Kenneth Godfrey, who asserted that, based on his own research, during the height of the practice of plural marriage, 1/3 of all adult men in the church never married, in large part due to a complete lack of possible companions.

This would seem to contradict Kathryn Daynes' research IIRC. I'd love to hear what his research was based on to compare it to others' work.

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Had you lived during his day, would you have been inclined to make the same emphatic statements about your living prophet?

Since the prophets don

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The BoM has the answer to the question. Monogamy is the default position of the Church, except when polygamy can be practiced under the direction of God.

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"Some people have supposed that the doctrine of plural marriage was a sort of superfluity, or non-essential to the salvation of exaltation of mankind. In other words, some of the Saints have said, and believe, that a man with one wife, sealed to him by the authority of the Priesthood for time and eternity, will receive an exaltation as great and glorious, if he is faithful, as he possibly could with more than one. I want here to enter my solemn protest against this idea, for I know it is false."

Joseph F. Smith (Prophet, Seer and Revelator)

JD 20:28

Was Smith right or wrong?

hey John. How are you? Here is my two cents. You cannot get to the celestial Kingdom through disobedience. If you don't obey what is required of you at any point in time, you aren't faithful. Nephi was constrained by direct commanment not to practice PM, and obviously could not take a second wife during his mortal lifetime. How many people on this board that is believing TBM would dare say that Nephi will not be a God in the highest glory? At the time of Joseph F. Smith and others, PM was a requirement. Whether it will be after this life is up to the Lord. All we should care about is what is required of us at this time.

If the Lord tells his prophet that we should all do ten jumping jacks per day facing Salt Lake for no reason other than obedience, then we, the TBM's, will out of obedience. Who cares what is required in the future or not, when we do not know? In the 19th century, he was correct, that it was an essential for anyone who had no good reason not to follow that commandment. Because obedience is essential for whatever is required at the time.

Ed Goble

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The Gospel is not an eternal truth, but dependent upon date and time? Is there any truth or moral that is not relative in Mormonism?

Gentiles couldn't be baptized before Peter had the revelation, only Jews. Even Jesus called the Samaritans dogs, but then after Peter had that revelation, Samaritans ceased to be dogs somehow. Is there any truth that is not relative in Ancient Christianity?

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The real question is what equals a revelation?

Joseph F. Smith was speaking from his personal beliefs here, not from the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. If he was speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost he would of told us with the famous "Thus sayith the Lord . . ." preface.

This is just pain wrong. When was the last time you heard a prophet say "thus sayith the Lord"? It's not in the proclamation on the family, or in the 1978 revelation on blacks and the Priesthood. There is no requirement for this. Even Ezra Taft Benson said the prophet does not have to say "Thus saith the Lord" to give us scripture (Fourteen Fundamentals in following the Prophet, 2/26/1980.

The fact is that the principle of plural marriage was taught as a commandment by all the prophets right up to the time the United States government forced the church to stop the practice.

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Joseph F. Smith was speaking from his personal beliefs here, not from the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. If he was speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost he would of told us with the famous "Thus sayith the Lord . . ." preface.

According to my stake president (I haven't attempted to validate it) there is no requirement to state "thus sayith the lord" when leadership is speaking under inspiration. This whole opinion vs. revelation thing continues to sound like a cop out to me.

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sjdawg:

Yes and no. The Prophet doesn't have to say "thus sayeth the Lord". However there is a long established method for determining what the Church has as doctrine, and a single prophet, or a small collection of them doesn't make it so.

http://newsroom.lds.org/article/approaching-mormon-doctrine

Not every statement made by a Church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. A single statement made by a single leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, though well-considered, opinion, but is not meant to be officially binding for the whole Church. With divine inspiration, the First Presidency (the prophet and his two counselors) and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (the second-highest governing body of the Church) counsel together to establish doctrine that is consistently proclaimed in official Church publications. This doctrine resides in the four

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sjdawg:

Yes and no. The Prophet doesn't have to say "thus sayeth the Lord". However there is a long established method for determining what the Church has as doctrine, and a single prophet, or a small collection of them doesn't make it so.

http://newsroom.lds....mormon-doctrine

Not every statement made by a Church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. A single statement made by a single leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, though well-considered, opinion, but is not meant to be officially binding for the whole Church. With divine inspiration, the First Presidency (the prophet and his two counselors) and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (the second-highest governing body of the Church) counsel together to establish doctrine that is consistently proclaimed in official Church publications. This doctrine resides in the four

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According to my stake president (I haven't attempted to validate it) there is no requirement to state "thus sayith the lord" when leadership is speaking under inspiration. This whole opinion vs. revelation thing continues to sound like a cop out to me.

There isn't a requirement to say "thus sayith the Lord" (if I said this I apologize, I meant that most revelations start with thus sayith the lord) there is a requirement that the statement be accepted by the unanimous decision of the 15 Apostles (First Presidency and the Twelve) as the will of the Lord. Then the revelation must be sustained by the unanimous decision of the body of the Church in General Conference. This is how revelation has been received for over 100 years now, this not what President Smith did with his statement. It is NOT revlation or prophecy, but the opinion of a man based on his beliefs and the times he lives in.

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So even things printed in the Ensign are not meant to be considered doctrinal? This seems contradictory to me as I don't see Mormonism as being a spot where you can pick and choose what statements to follow. I know not everything will keep you out of the temple but there are lots of things that will create a stigma in your local ward (too many earrings for example)

The words of the prophets (First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles) in the Ensign magazine are accepted as scripture, they do not present new doctrine though, I have never seen or heard of the Ensign being used to reveal new doctrine. There is only one way to reveal doctrine and it through revelation from God which is a very tedious process of several unanimous decisions.

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There isn't a requirement to say "thus sayith the Lord" (if I said this I apologize, I meant that most revelations start with thus sayith the lord) there is a requirement that the statement be accepted by the unanimous decision of the 15 Apostles (First Presidency and the Twelve) as the will of the Lord. Then the revelation must be sustained by the unanimous decision of the body of the Church in General Conference. This is how revelation has been received for over 100 years now, this not what President Smith did with his statement. It is NOT revlation or prophecy, but the opinion of a man based on his beliefs and the times he lives in.

Let me get this straight:

Revelation = anything unanimously accepted by the 15 apostles and the body of the Church in general conference.

Opinion = anything else

Wow! This gives me carte blanche to ignore just about any statement, counsel, or advice that is not canonized (with the possible exception of official proclamations). Unfortunately, I think my Bishop missed the memo since he thinks the Word of Wisdom forbids mild drinks made of barley when it is expressly permitted by the scriptures.

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The words of the prophets (First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles) in the Ensign magazine are accepted as scripture, they do not present new doctrine though, I have never seen or heard of the Ensign being used to reveal new doctrine. There is only one way to reveal doctrine and it through revelation from God which is a very tedious process of several unanimous decisions.

Whoa, wait a minute. The articles in the Ensign are clearly fallible opinion since they were not unanimously sustained as revelation by the 15 apostles and the body of the Church. What does the concept of "new doctrine" have to do with it? Joseph F. Smith was not declaring new doctrine when he made the statement quoted in the original post so I don't see how you can assert that President Smith's statement is fallible opinion yet the Ensign is not.

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Let me get this straight:

Revelation = anything unanimously accepted by the 15 apostles and the body of the Church in general conference.

Opinion = anything else

You got it. It also does not allow you to use obsucre quotes and isolated talks as scripture to beat the church up over such teahcings as "Adam/God" or "Blood Atonement".

Of course I don't view it so black and white. I would say thing taught at GC or given in church approved cirriculum, suchas manuals would be doctrine or revelation if, you will.

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Isn't it true that at it's 'height' only 15% of LDS men had more than one wife?

It was closer to 5%.

T-Shirt

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When I was studying in America, I took an Institute class from Dr Kenneth Godfrey, who asserted that, based on his own research, during the height of the practice of plural marriage, 1/3 of all adult men in the church never married, in large part due to a complete lack of possible companions.

This is not accurate. While it is true that there were not enough women in the Church for all men to have more than one wife, that fact is that many men were unwilling to marry at all. Brigham Young and George Q. Cannon, both, preached of this matter, encouraging all men to get married, and went so far as to say that if all LDS men would marry, there would be no need for plural marriage.

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Another way of looking at this issue is that rather than being a "higher law" as put forth by the LDS church, it is a distinct possibility that plural marriage was something that was "winked at" (Acts 17: 30) by the Lord as a cultural institution. Certainly later scriptures in the New Testament (which pertains to the "higher Law of Christ") made clear the Lord's preference for a monogomous marriage relationship.

1 Timothy 3:2

"A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;..."

Titus 1:5-7

5For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in aorder the things that are wanting, and bordain celders in every city, as I had dappointed thee: 6If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of ariot or unruly.

7For a abishop must be blameless, as the bsteward of God; not cselfwilled, not soon dangry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;

1Timothy 3:12:

12Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

One wife seems to be the order set forth in the original church.

You may be interested in my research on these verses. They are often misunderstood. When Paul refers to being the "Husband of one wife" he meant that these men could only have been married once. In other words, if a man had remarried follow a divorce or the death of his spouse, he was disqualified. That was the culture of the day. Those verses have nothing to do with plural marriage.

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I think my Bishop missed the memo since he thinks the Word of Wisdom forbids mild drinks made of barley when it is expressly permitted by the scriptures.

Your bishop objects to Postum and Pero?

That's odd.

Lehi

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Marriage is the eternal principle. However, the application of that principle can vary from time to time as it does with plural marriage. It's not a different doctrine, it's a different application of an existing one. As to plural marriage in the Celestial Kingdom, we know that it will exist, but is not necessary for exaltation here.

"Not necessary here" flies utterly against pre 1890 General Authority statements on the topic. Brigham Young et al. taught that in order to attain to the highest glory in the CK men and women must live polygamy in this life first.

And what about plurality of husbands? Read Sec 132 carefully, and you can see the offer to Emma to accept for herself what Joseph was already doing: at that time he was "married" to quite a few women who were already married, most of them to Mormon husbands (who hadn't a clue). She was outraged and tore "the revelation" to shreds and drove Hyrum Smith out. Joseph had warned his brother beforehand what would happen. Anticipating Emma, they had written "the revelation" in at least two copies....

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