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The timeline and reasons of how the idea of polygamy evolved into practice is perplexing. It is causing me doubt how scriptures are to be obeyed, and how to trust the revelatory process. Let's look at the pattern Joseph Smith followed:
March 1830 - Joseph Smith publishes the Book of Mormon (supposedly scripture) which contains commandments from God. The only discussion of polygamy is found in Jacob 2, which clearly condemns the practice. However, there is a provision given for exceptions: only to 'raise up seed' if God commands it.
The Gospel Topics Essay on Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo states that "After receiving a revelation commanding him to practice plural marriage, Joseph Smith married multiple wives and introduced the practice to close associates." The only revelation I know of on polygamy came in July 1843 (D&C 132), yet Joseph Smith had married 22 (by some count) additional wives by July 1843.
2 Big Questions:
1. What revelation did Joseph Smith receive (per the mentioned Gospel Topic Essay) before the D&C 132 revelation that told him to practice polygamy, despite the Book of Mormon's 1830 prohibition (with exception)?
2. In light of the Jacob 2:30 provision for the allowance of polygamy to "raise up seed unto me..." why are there no (known) children that emerged from Joseph Smith's plural wives? Joseph apparently did not use polygamy to 'raise up seed.'
So now that President Nelson has shown us how he roles and how the inspiration he receives roles, I can't help but ask/ponder aloud with my cyber-ward-family/friends (I don't know any of you well enough to consider our relationship to be that of frenemies, my apologies):
- I figure we have maybe two years until the BSA program (love it or hate it) will be replaced
- Several years ago, maybe 10+ years, there was talk about mini-Temples being created in levels other the main entry level of stake centers; wondering if this idea might come back? Really I'm just looking for an excuse to goto Ireland and a Temple openhouse seems to be that opportunity; slainte!
- Wondering if any of you have written to General Authorities and asked about topics like these; anyone received a response? Since "marriage" has been legally "redefined," I'm curious to ask the GA's if redefining marriage in the vein of Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Moses, Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and many others defined marriage. Waiting for SCOTUS to "redefine marriage" again (before reinstituting), would be more palatable no doubt, but aren't we on kind of an accelerated time schedule/ last days etc.? And when you attend the Temple, don't the Sisters outnumber the Brothers by a factor of 3 to 1, on average?
My question as I am still a new convert is how many times can you be sealed to someone or others. Say for example you were sealed to your current husband but he pass away. Years later down the line you meet someone and want to get sealed with the new husband instead. How does it work in the end. I never understand this and every time I ask someone nobody seems to really want to explain it. Please clarify only if you truly have the answer.
I want to respond to a couple of statements made by Julianne from the now closed "Weed" thread, because she absolutely nails it. She is spot on and I think the discussion at this level needs to occur before any progress can be made on the SSM issue.
Speaking as a straight, white, man, I recognize that I come to the traditional church teachings of priesthood, sealing, polygamy/polyandry, and SSM from a certain privileged position. The church's teachings and practices benefit me and they always have. Even though there is little to no evidence for how celestial families will actually be organized and function in the CK I used to think I had it all figured out. Obviously, I thought, marriage is essential to have legal physical intimacy which is necessary for creating offspring with one or multiple wives. Yet there is no firm teaching about how spirits are created. Are they born like a baby is born into mortality? There is no evidence or teaching for that, but it is widely assumed. That assumption then justifies polygamy while discrediting polyandry and even SSM. After all, if the entire purpose is to create spirit offspring and it is thought that it happens in a way similar to creating biological offspring, then it makes sense. But that is ALL based on assumptions.
Based on these assumptions many are willing to condemn others to lives (and possibly even an eternity) of loneliness.
So (we) don't even know what the afterlife looks like. It is unknown. Yet we think (we) have enough information to condemn and judge others, and since most of us come at it from positions of privilege, we are in the position to enforce our dogma upon the less privileged. The church is not unique in behaving this way. It is how society has always worked. But recognizing the assumptions for what they are and being humble about how much we really don't know, can help society improve.
Julianne also stated...
How can one categorically dismiss SSM when there is little to nothing known about family organization in the next life, even regarding a variety of heterosexual family organizations. Which sealings will be valid? Polygamy/polyandry? Only those which benefit men? Who are the children sealed to? There is a lot of "The Lord will work it out" mentality, which is fine because it acknowledges a lack of understanding and knowledge. The problem comes when one then loses all humility and attempts to define how family relationships will or will not work for other people. I agree with Julianne that the polygamy/polyandry topic is closely tied to the SSM topic and must be ironed out.
So maybe this can be a thread that can be commented on instead of derailing other threads when this subject comes up.
*Julianne, I hope I didn't misunderstand or misrepresent you. I really appreciated where you were trying to take the discussion.