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What if polygamy was never practiced?


Anna

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I personally believe we would have double the membership. If the Lord commanded polygamy then it must have done something to strenghten the church and its members, something we do not yet understand. But after serving a mission and talking with hundreds of non-member friends about the church I am convinced that if polygamy had never been practiced the world wouldn't be nearly as cautious or suspicious about the church. Every question I ever get about the church had to do with polygamy usually followed by a rolling of the eyes.

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Actually, without polygamy, the church would probably not have nearly the membership today that is has. It not only strengthened the church, it provided a "critical mass" core even though its practice was hardly universal. This core is what propelled the twentieth century explosion of membership. Contrary to some prevailing opinions on this board, polygamy is not really much of a stumbling block to the rank and file.

Most North American members of the church have polygamy in their backgrounds. Even with post polygamy conversions. My wife for example is a convert, but she marreid a 5th generation member, so my kids are still descendents of polygamy stock.

Case in point: CoC and Bickertonites.

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What material have you read during these "years of studying the issue" of polygamy?

Probably much of the same material you have. But such is not the issue of this thread.

If there was no Section 132, then I don't believe you can have marriages for eternity--period.

True, but I trust you understand that the doctrine of

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The backbone of the membership of the Church is the number of members who are willing to committ themselves completely to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Those who become or stay members because it is comfortable, who are never asked nor feel the need to sacrifice, they may inflate the membership rolls, but they do not support the Church spiritually. What would the Church be if those were the only members? Just like any other Christian denomination, a church without the power to save.

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The backbone of the membership of the Church is the number of members who are willing to committ themselves completely to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Those who become or stay members because it is comfortable, who are never asked nor feel the need to sacrifice, they may inflate the membership rolls, but they do not support the Church spiritually. What would the Church be if those were the only members? Just like any other Christian denomination, a church without the power to save.

charity,

I do appreciate the bearing of your testimony, it seems to be a strong one.

But this is a "what if" topic.

If such topic affects your testimony in any adverse manner, I might suggest you avoid it. But I don't see your post as being applicable to the topic.

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I provided two quotations that say differently. Who to believe?

1. Anna's unsupported assertion?

2. Or Nighthawke who weighed in with quotations by Elders Orson Pratt and Charles Penrose?

Nighthawke,

You are really wallowing around in your own quicksand now! :P

Have you been married in the temple? If so, do you and your husband practice polygamy?

If you don't practice polygamy, is your temple marriage void? <_<

You really should think before you post!!!!

The only way to get rid of the principle of the plurality of wives is to get rid of section 132, which also happens to be the main revelation responsible for the Latter-day Saint doctrine of eternal marriage.

You asked, "What if polygamy was never practiced?" Fine. Where is polygamy found? In the Doctrine & Covenants: section 132. Okay. Let's throw out section 132. Unfortunately it means throwing out (if memory serves) no less than four core doctrines of the Church--including eternal marriage/families are forever.

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Anna, my husband and I have been married in the temple. So if we keep our covenants and endure to the end, we are assured our marriage will last for eternity. At present, I don't have any 'sister' wives. If I should precede my husband in death, I am sure he will marry again. If he does, he will marry a woman who has not had the opportunity to be sealed. Then there were will be 2 of us. That doesn't bother me. If it something that is approved of the Lord, why should it?

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The only way to get rid of the principle of the plurality of wives is to get rid of section 132, which also happens to be the main revelation responsible for the Latter-day Saint doctrine of eternal marriage.

You asked, "What if polygamy was never practiced?" Fine. Where is polygamy found? In the Doctrine & Covenants: section 132. Okay. Let's throw out section 132. Unfortunately it means throwing out (if memory serves) no less than four core doctrines of the Church--including eternal marriage/families are forever.

Nighthawke,

You're fighting an issue that is not there! You're really trying to throw out the "baby with the bathwater" :P

If we believe the church and current apologists today, polygamy was only allowed to be practiced when God commanded it. This is true for D&C 132 under any scenario, correct? D&C 132 only allowed polygamy when God commanded it!

So my original "what if" question could just have easily been stated:

"What if, after revealing D&C 132, God never commanded polygamy for anyone in the Church"

The "eternal" tenets of D&C 132 would not be impacted in any way.

So again, has "polygamy" brought anything to the church that monogamy would not have brought?

How would the church look today if it was never practiced (commanded)?

You asked, "What if polygamy was never practiced?" Fine. Where is polygamy found? In the Doctrine & Covenants: section 132. Okay. Let's throw out section 132. Unfortunately it means throwing out (if memory serves) no less than four core doctrines of the Church--including eternal marriage/families are forever.

This is simply not true. There are no doctrines of the church, core or otherwise, that are lost if "polygamy" was never practiced.

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Hi Anna and All:

I for one do not get all defensive about Church history and the issue of polygamy because plural marriage, or polygamy, was recorded biblically under the law. In fact, all those who roll their eyes should remember that the chosen line... the House of Israel... is a result of Jacob (whose name was changed to Israel) and his four wives, who gave him 12 sons, who became the 12 tribes of Israel. Even beloved King David had many wives and concubines, all under the law, all with the approval of Nathan the high priest. It was not until David lusted after Bathseba and arranged for her husband's death that he got into trouble.

I don't know why the Lord chose to reveal this law again in our time. In those days of our history... there was no more than about 1 - 3% of the membership at any time that was approved to live this principle. People didn't join the Church and just start marrying wives. However, it was a point of contention against the early Church, to the point that pesecution against the Saints in this regard, both from the citizenry and the government, became such that the very Church was in jeopardy. Therefore, in 1890 president Wilford Woodruff reported that it was revealed to him that the practice should be discontinued and the Church should abide by the law of the land... He reported it was shown to him what would happen... the government would seize the temples and the ordinances would be stopped... and it was better "to leave the Temples in the hands of the Saints, so that they can attend to the ordinances of the Gospel, both for the living and the dead."

The Church ceased this practice in 1890 as it was no longer a sanctioned practice. Anyone today trying to practice polygamy is excommunicated and is NOT part of mainstream Mormonism... these splinter groups calling themselves "fundamentalist Mormons" are in no way part of the Church and are under condemnation.

I agree that membership would be much larger had polygamy never been practiced... will it be practiced in the future... No... we follow the Lord's admonition that we are to abide the law of the land. GG

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What if the Church never practiced polygamy?

If the Church never practiced plural marriage, I think many more men, women and children would have suffered and perished in the exodus from Nauvoo and in the Great Salt Lake Valley. Plural marriage wasn't for the people of Nauvoo, nor is it for us modern-time Saints. The united order/law of consecration failed--plural marriage did not. The result was the same: assistance and material wealth were distributed to those in need and a righteous people were raised up "unto the Lord". It was a "blessing in disguise" (Helen Mar Kimball) for the pioneer Saints. It is noteworthy that plural marriage was already in decline years before the Manifesto, with Utahns slowly becoming prosperous, thriving businesses, and so forth.

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If the Church never practiced plural marriage, I think many more men, women and children would have suffered and perished in the exodus from Nauvoo and in the Great Salt Lake Valley.

Why? What did polygamy give them that monogamy would not have given them?

The united order/law of consecration failed--plural marriage did not. The result was the same: assistance and material wealth were distributed to those in need. It was a "blessing in disguise" (Helen Mar Kimball) for the pioneer Saints.

This seems illogical. For one, if polygamy was practiced in the very small and rare cases that the church wants people to believe today, I can't see it having any significant impact on the ratable distribution of wealth and assistance.

This statement almost implies that those involved in the exodus, who were not part of the small polygamous practice, would then be ignored by other members in having their needs of wealth and assistance met. Makes no sense to me. I would think that the needs of all involved in the exodus would be met, best they could, without distinction to the type of marriage one practised. Particularly to a practice that was, by current church claims, very rare and limited.

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I really want to say something about this but I am speechless. Anna no one has really answered your question though or have they?

Well a couple have.

But it is a challenging question that, for me anyway, is quite telling as to whether such practice was really "from God", or from Joseph Smith's personal desires. I can't find one aspect of "spiritual need or significance" that the practice of polygamy brought, that would not have been brought with monogamy.

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I really want to say something about this but I am speechless. Anna no one has really answered your question though or have they?

Well a couple have.

But it is a challenging question that, for me anyway, is quite telling as to whether such practice was really "from God", or from Joseph Smith's personal desires. I can't find one aspect of "spiritual need or significance" that the practice of polygamy brought, that would not have been brought with monogamy.

Oh I agree with 100% on that one

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Anna and Free, you are not seeing or listening. It has been answered sevearl times, and you still profess cluelessness?

God commanded somethng that was difficult. While there are those who would argue that monpgamy is difficult, it is not the same sort of challenge that polygamy was. Those who were willing to follow the difficult law were stronger. The weak were weeded out. It is the strength. There is a reason why the comparison is made to Abraham and his sacrifice. God wants proven, strong leaders.

You may say that pioneer life was tough, and why wasn't that enough. There were plenty of pioneers who were tough. I had ancestors who did essentially what the LDS pioneers did. Life was rough.

If you still have questions as to why, ask God why He used this challenge as the test.

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I would think that the needs of all involved in the exodus would be met, best they could, without distinction to the type of marriage one practised.

You have a certain je ne sais quoi way of twisting what I say. You've done is throughout this thread, so consider yourself on my do not bother to read/reply list. I wish you well as you continue to study plural marriage.

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