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Mormon Prophet John Taylor's view on Polygamy


Neo

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"We believe in honesty, morality, and purity; but when they enact tyrannical laws, forbidding us the free exercise of our religion, we cannot submit. God is greater than the United States, and when the Government conflicts with heaven, we will be ranged under the banner of heaven and against the Government...Polygamy is a divine institution. It has been banded down direct from God. The United States cannot abolish it. No nation on the earth can prevent it, nor all the nations of the earth combined...I defy the United States; I will obey God." - John Taylor (on January 4, 1880), president, prophet, seer, and revelator, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I am curious about this quote which I originally read in John Krakauer's book, Under the Banner of Heaven. I thought Mormons believed in obeying the laws of the land?

Neo

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"We believe in honesty, morality, and purity; but when they enact tyrannical laws, forbidding us the free exercise of our religion, we cannot submit. God is greater than the United States, and when the Government conflicts with heaven, we will be ranged under the banner of heaven and against the Government...Polygamy is a divine institution. It has been banded down direct from God. The United States cannot abolish it. No nation on the earth can prevent it, nor all the nations of the earth combined...I defy the United States; I will obey God." - John Taylor (on January 4, 1880), president, prophet, seer, and revelator, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I am curious about this quote which I originally read in John Krakauer's book, Under the Banner of Heaven. I thought Mormons believed in obeying the laws of the land?

Neo

That is a great quote, because it highlights the sheer insanity of polygamy. I guess the Smoot hearings helped change the church authority structure to #1-USA and #2-God. Or not? I don't know? Does anyone know?

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Thanks for the link Nighthawke. I must say that the following statement from Smith's article regarding Wilford Woodruff's "revelation" about polygamy is very disturbing:

"It was his duty to make a formal statement which he knew to be false in some particulars."

How do you respond to this statement?

Neo

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"We believe in honesty, morality, and purity; but when they enact tyrannical laws, forbidding us the free exercise of our religion, we cannot submit. God is greater than the United States, and when the Government conflicts with heaven, we will be ranged under the banner of heaven and against the Government...Polygamy is a divine institution. It has been banded down direct from God. The United States cannot abolish it. No nation on the earth can prevent it, nor all the nations of the earth combined...I defy the United States; I will obey God." - John Taylor (on January 4, 1880), president, prophet, seer, and revelator, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I am curious about this quote which I originally read in John Krakauer's book, Under the Banner of Heaven.

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Thanks for the link Nighthawke. I must say that the following statement from that article regarding Wilford Woodruff's "revelation" about polygamy is very disturbing:

"It was his duty to make a formal statement which he knew to be false in some particulars."

How do you respond to this statement?

Neo

You only have one of his quotes? That's odd he wrote several over the years.

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I pointed you in the direction of Greg Smith's 65-page response to that very question.

That quote is from Smith's article. I am curious about your response to Smith's statement - "It was his duty to make a formal statement which he knew to be false in some particulars."

It's true that plural marriage was privately approved outside the United States post the Manifesto. For further information, I again refer you to Greg's article. Would you like me to invite Greg Smith to the board so he can respond to your questions?

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I am curious about this quote which I originally read in John Krakauer's book, Under the Banner of Heaven. I thought Mormons believed in obeying the laws of the land?

We do, within limits. At some point governments can become tyrannical, depriving citizens of the right to worship as they choose, of property, and of life for arbitrary and capricious reasons. The United States never did demonstrate a compelling reason for outlawing polygamy; the argument was that if polygamy was allowed then we would also have to allow human sacrifice.

The Doctrine and Covenants says we will support that law which is Constitutional. It was by no means clear that any law banning polygamy was Constitutional; in fact, the issue is far from clear today.

In the end, the church will stand on the side of freedom of religion and the right to life and property in the face of government oppression.

The United States has demonstrated that it is willing to use force of arms to prohibit polygamy. It is willing to take away our right to vote, to own property, or even to gather in small groups or speak in public. It has done all these things in the past and it will probably resort to such measures in the future in order to enforce other laws deemed necessary to keep the Mormons in their place.

We have agreed, on the issue of polygamy, to submit to the government of the United States, recognizing that in doing this the politicians who resorted to arms to force us to agree with this have taken upon themselves the judgment of God. Let them stand before the bar of God and account for their actions; our hands are clean because we did all that God required of us, including submitting to the will of the state. We would have been willing to die at the hands of the state, if God had required us to do that, too. As it turned out, God had other plans.

Mr. Krakauer, who could not be bothered to walk a few hundred feet to rescue his fellow climbers, has little room to criticize anybody else for a lack of courage.

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I pointed you in the direction of Greg Smith's 65-page response to that very question.

That quote is from Smith's article. I am curious about your response to Smith's statement - "It was his duty to make a formal statement which he knew to be false in some particulars."

It's true that plural marriage was privately approved outside the United States post the Manifesto. For further information, I again refer you to Greg's article. Would you like me to invite Greg Smith to the board so he can respond to your questions?

The quote from Smith's article is an admission that Woodruff was deliberately deceptive in giving his "revelation" about polygamy. I fail to see how that is acceptable conduct for a supposed prophet of God. However, it makes perfect sense when you consider the political ramifications (i.e. a denial of statehood for Utah) of rescinding the eternal commandment of polygamy that Taylor and other Mormon prophets so vehemently defended the practice of. Sounds a lot like he caved in to political pressure to me. Desert_vulture's point about the U.S. vs. God makes a lot of sense.

Neo

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I pointed you in the direction of Greg Smith's 65-page response to that very question.

That quote is from Smith's article. I am curious about your response to Smith's statement - "It was his duty to make a formal statement which he knew to be false in some particulars."

It's true that plural marriage was privately approved outside the United States post the Manifesto. For further information, I again refer you to Greg's article. Would you like me to invite Greg Smith to the board so he can respond to your questions?

The quote from Smith's article is an admission that Woodruff was deliberately deceptive in giving his "revelation" about polygamy. I fail to see how that is acceptable conduct for a supposed prophet of God. However, it makes perfect sense when you consider the political ramifications (i.e. a denial of statehood for Utah) of rescinding the eternal commandment of polygamy that Taylor and other Mormon prophets so vehemently defended the practice of. Sounds a lot like he caved in to political pressure to me. Desert_vulture's point about the U.S. vs. God makes a lot of sense.

Neo

Lucky for you that no one is going to force you to join a church led by such "prevaricating" prophets, huh?

But, lest there be any misunderstanding as to where Latter-day Saints stand on such issues, permit me to quote from Joseph Smith, the founding prophet of the Church:

"That which is wrong under one circumstance, may be, and often is, right under another. God said that thou shalt not kill, -- at another time he said thou shalt utterly destroy. This is the principle on which the government of heaven is conducted -- by revelation adapted to the circumstances in which the children of the kingdom are placed. Whatever God requires is right, no matter what it is, although we may not see the reason thereof till long after the events transpire."

I can confidently state that this remains the guiding principle of the Church to this day. And you will find that 90+% of faithful LDS will continue to "follow the Prophet" regardless of how ludicrous or "prevaricating" his revelations appear to the outside world. We're funny that way.

So, are you satisfied now?

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I can confidently state that this remains the guiding principle of the Church to this day. And you will find that 90+% of faithful LDS will continue to "follow the Prophet" regardless of how ludicrous or "prevaricating" his revelations appear to the outside world. We're funny that way.

So, are you satisfied now?

Are you saying Woodruff wasn't actually being deceptive but only "appeared that way to the outside world?"

Neo

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I have read Greg Smith's paper. Don't have time to look at it again tonight...

But to respond to Neo... The deception was actually quite a minor one...

The Manifesto states that the Church in conference was "unanimous" in ratifying the Manifesto. This was not true.

But it was a polite little lie, to keep the ravening anti-Mormon wolves from attacking (and judging from this thread they still seem to be circling today :P ), when the Church was at a frail point, in danger of losing control of all its assets, of its very existence (in a nation that supposedly supported freedom of religion!). Bro. Woodruff received a revelation to save the Church. (As he himself said.)

John Taylor, meanwhile, did not receive any such revelation, and therefore was ready to pursue the issue to the death, if that is what the Lord wanted. (So was Bro. Woodruff...) Both were men of God. They did not contradict each other.

Beowulf

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Thanks for the link Nighthawke. I must say that the following statement from Smith's article regarding Wilford Woodruff's "revelation" about polygamy is very disturbing:

"It was his duty to make a formal statement which he knew to be false in some particulars."

How do you respond to this statement?

Neo

Well lets see... Did not father Abraham amd Isaac tell some white lies over the years? How about Peter? To save his skin?

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The United States cannot abolish it. No nation on the earth can prevent it, nor all the nations of the earth combined..."

Looks like God abolished it to me. Defeating the US in war was apparently not part of His plan.

Do you not find it especially convenient that the mormon god just happened to abolish it right at the same time the US government was also putting immense pressure on Mormons regarding polygamy?

Neo

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Don't prophets generally say things that are supposed to come true?

Yes, they do, in their own due time. Polygamy will eventually be restored. This has been prophesied many times. The only question is when. Neither the United States nor anyone else will ultimately be able to prevail against the word of God. John Taylor himself spoke of the day when polygamy would be restored and it had not even been taken away yet.

As things stand now, there are many members of the church who would resist a restoration of polygamy even more than the United States would. Too bad for them.

God allows us to make our choices, but we cannot avoid the consequences of our actions. The United States will eventually have to answer for its crimes against the church -- not just the abolition of polygamy, but all the other crimes, too. So will every other government.

Eventually Jesus Christ will return, and those who used force and intimidation to keep people from obeying the commandments of God will have to stand before God and answer to Him for their actions.

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Thanks for the link Nighthawke.  I must say that the following statement from Smith's article regarding Wilford Woodruff's "revelation" about polygamy is very disturbing:

"It was his duty to make a formal statement which he knew to be false in some particulars."

How do you respond to this statement?

Neo

Well lets see... Did not father Abraham amd Isaac tell some white lies over the years? How about Peter? To save his skin?

Lots of people did lots of things in the Bible. That does not mean what they did was justified.

Neo

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Sure it was Justified... Just as God was Elated with Phineas (Psalms 106) for Murdering the Adulterers. After giving them the 10 commandments. Thou shall not kill.

Heck... just read Ex 20-22. Though shall not kill... thou shalt put to death anything that does not keep the commandments.

Utterly destroy all the Moabites every man woman child and yellow dog wagging its tail. Israel I am sorley displeased! You did not kill everyhting even after I told you not to kill. The God of the Bible just can't seem to make up his mind, does he want everything dead or not?

Abraham would have ended up dead if he had not lied to the king. So would Isaac... and then... where would the promise of Christ come from?

Ooops. :P

PS. Technically they where "white lies" becuase in Abrahams case he really was married to his half-sister. (Sister of another mother)

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I can confidently state that this remains the guiding principle of the Church to this day.  And you will find that 90+% of faithful LDS will continue to "follow the Prophet" regardless of how ludicrous or "prevaricating" his revelations appear to the outside world.  We're funny that way.

So, are you satisfied now?

Are you saying Woodruff wasn't actually being deceptive but only "appeared that way to the outside world?"

Neo

No, I did not say that. But you are free to read into what I said whatever you'd like.

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Don't prophets generally say things that are supposed to come true?

Yes, they do, in their own due time. Polygamy will eventually be restored. This has been prophesied many times. The only question is when. Neither the United States nor anyone else will ultimately be able to prevail against the word of God. John Taylor himself spoke of the day when polygamy would be restored and it had not even been taken away yet.

As things stand now, there are many members of the church who would resist a restoration of polygamy even more than the United States would. Too bad for them.

God allows us to make our choices, but we cannot avoid the consequences of our actions. The United States will eventually have to answer for its crimes against the church -- not just the abolition of polygamy, but all the other crimes, too. So will every other government.

Eventually Jesus Christ will return, and those who used force and intimidation to keep people from obeying the commandments of God will have to stand before God and answer to Him for their actions.

Taylor's statement is clearly referring to events happening in his own lifetime because he personally said he defied the U.S. and would obey God.

Neo

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