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New Order of Marriage


Lamanite

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If Joseph knew prior to 1840 that the "restoration of all things," particularly plurality of wives, included marriage that would continue past death, there is no record that he included the concept in his conversations. He signed his early personal letters to Emma, "your affectionate Husband until Death," "O may the blessings of God rest upon you is the prayer of your Husband until death," or "Your Husband until death." Not until 1842 would his letters hint of marriage for eternity, saying, "yours in haste, your affectionate husband until death, through all eternity, and for evermore." Mormon Enigma, p97

Anyone have evidence of Joseph teaching eternal marriage prior to 1840? I think the authors' argument is tenuous based solely on Joseph's sig line, but I'm open to further evidence to support the book's hypothesis or to the contrary.

Big UP!

Lamanite

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Well wasn't 1842 when Emma was endowed and they were sealed in the temple? The temple wasn't completed until later but as I recall the did some temple ordinances before the temple was complete.

Per the OP, I'm looking for any evidence of eternal marriage being taught prior to 1840.

Big UP!

Lamanite

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The following, though written in 1903, is Benjamin F. Johnson's witness on the subject:

And now to your question, "How early did the Prophet Joseph practice polygamy?" I hardly know how wisely to reply, for the truth at times may be better withheld; but as what I am writing is to be published only under strict scrutiny of the wisest, I will say, that the revelation [D&C 132] to the Church at Nauvoo, July 21, 1843, on the Eternity of the Marriage Covenant and the Law of Plural Marriage, was not the first revelation of the law received and practiced by the Prophet. In 1835, at Kirtland, I learned from my sister's husband, Lyman R. Sherman, who was close to the Prophet, and received it from him, "that the ancient order of Plural Marriage was again to be practiced by the Church." This at the time, did not impress my mind deeply, although there then lived with his family a neighbor's daughter, Fannie Alger, a very nice and comely young woman about my own age, toward whom not only myself, but every one, seemed partial for the amiability of her character; and it was whispered even then that Joseph loved her. After this, there was some trouble with Jared Carter, and through Brother Sherman I learned that "as he had built himself a new house, he now wanted another wife", which Joseph would not permit.

And then there was some trouble with Oliver Cowdery, and whisper said it was relating to a girl then living in his family; and I was afterwards told by Warren Parish, that he himself and Oliver Cowdery did know that Joseph had Fannie Alger as a wife, for they were spied upon and found together. And I can now see that as at Nauvoo, so at Kirtland, that the suspicion or knowledge of the Prophet's plural relation was one of the causes of apostasy and disruption at Kirtland although at the time there was little said publicly on the subject.

Soon after the Prophet's flight in winter of 1837 and 1838, the Alger family left for the West and stopping in Indiana for a time Fannie soon married to one of the citizens there, and although she never left the state, she did not turn from the Church nor from her friendship with the Prophet while she lived.

T-Shirt

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D&C132 itself gives the clues.

Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Nauvoo, Illinois, recorded 12 July 1843, relating to the new and everlasting covenant, including the eternity of the marriage covenant, and also the plurality of wives (see History of the Church, 5:501

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That heading only begs the question Lamanite has asked: what is in the "historical records" that makes evident Joseph Smith knowing (and teaching or practicing) polygamy prior to 1840?

And more importantly, was polygamy practiced before the restoration of the sealing power in 1836?

There is no necessary link between plural marriage and the sealing power. I think one can figure that out from the OT where there is a difference between wives and concubines. I'm not saying that unsealed wives are really concubines, but what I am saying is that plural marriage does not equal celestial marriage although I'm sure sometimes the terms were used interchangeably.

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