The following addresses Gordons claim of reading about Joseph Smith plural marriage. I found the appropriate Ensign and word did a word search, the underlined part is Gordon citation and the black text is what is in the article and the red is an analysis of the text.
2007 “teachings of Presidents, Joseph Smith vii-xiii
“This book also does not discuss plural marriage. The doctrines and principles relating to plural marriage were revealed to Joseph Smith as early as 1831. The Prophet taught the doctrine of plural marriage, and a number of such marriages were performed during his lifetime.” This source does not indicate to the reader that Joseph Smith, himself, entered into, plural/polygamist marriages. This source only lets the reader know that "a number" of plural marriages were performed during Joseph Smith lifetime, but the source does not indicate who entered into those marriages
Ensign, Aug 92 page 30
, “Her great trial came when the prophet revealed to Emma that they would be required to live the ancient law of Abraham—plural marriage. Emma suffered deeply hurt feelings because of it. While she agreed with this doctrine at times, at other times she opposed it. Years later, Emma is purported to have denied that any such doctrine was ever introduced by her husband. In later years, Emma apparently never spoke of the sacred ordinances they had received. She would have been under covenant not to do so.” This source is does better at indicating Joseph Smith may have entered into plural/polygmaist marriages, but the author flatly rejects Emma Smith's claim it never happened, thus it becomes who to believe; it is interesting that the author does not provide any evidence that Emma Smith "would have been under covenant" not to admit that Joseph Smith entered into plural/polygamist marriages.
Ensign jan 89 page 30
, In Nauvoo, the Knight group faced and passed another great test of faith. The Prophet introduced several doctrines relating to the temple including the temple ceremonies and plural marriage, which some could not accept. 20
But the Knights received the teachings. They helped to finish the temple and then performed baptisms for the dead. By early 1846, more than twenty adults in the Knight families had received their temple endowments and sealings. Four of Father and Polly Knight’s children entered into plural marriage. This source does not inform the reader that Joseph Smith, himself, entered into plural/polygamist marriages.
Ensign Dec 78 page 42
, ” In obedience to the command of the living prophet, Newel and Elizabeth Ann gave their daughter Sarah Ann in marriage to Joseph Smith.” A direct and straightforward acknowledgment.
Ensign feb 77 page 48
, “Then, along with economic privation and an absent father, was for some the institution of plural marriage. Starting during Joseph Smith
’s own lifetime but limited to a few dozen families until its official announcement in 1852, plural marriage brought a powerful new challenge to the equanimity of Latter-day Saint family life.”
Once again, another source which does not inform the reader that Joseph Smith, himself, entered into plural/polygamist marriages. However, if based on this vague and nonspecific text, the reader is suppose to realize that Joseph Smith entered into plural/polygamist marriages, then, based on the following is the reader suppose to know and understand that Joseph Smith had sexual relations with his plural/polygamist wives
… “In the words of Professor Eugene Campbell of Brigham Young University, “Many of the normal problems of marriage, such as finance, personality adjustment, sexual relationships, jealousies, child-rearing and discipline were all magnified in plural marriages.”
New Era dec 73 page 7
, “The great prophet Elias, whom Joseph Fielding Smith says is Noah (See Answers to Gospel Questions [Deseret Book Co.: 1957], vol. 3, p. 138), appeared and bestowed upon their heads the keys of the dispensation of Abraham, or in other words, as Elder Bruce R. McConkie says in Mormon Doctrine
(2nd ed. [Bookcraft: 1966], p. 219.), the keys of celestial and plural marriage. Again, not indication that Joseph Smith entered into plural/polygamist marriages.
DC section 132 1843 that talks about plural marriage. Apparently the position is, that it is self evident in Section 132 that Joseph Smith was a polygamist or had entered into plural marriages.
Granted Gordon may have been limited by time, but only one of the citations he lists specifically addresses Joseph Smith entering in plural marriages. As for the rest, they are dubious at best, they do not provide the read with the knowledge that Joseph Smith entered in to plural marriages.
Edited by treehugger, 17 July 2012 - 07:48 PM.