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Curious Passage in Doctrine and Covenants


consiglieri

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Does anybody have any insight into what it was God commanded Joseph to offer Emma that is here countermanded?

D&C 132:51--Verily, I say unto you: A commandment I give unto mine handmaid, Emma Smith, your wife, whom I have given unto you, that she stay herself and partake not of that which I commanded you to offer unto her; for I did it, saith the Lord, to prove you all, as I did Abraham, and that I might require an offering at your hand, by covenant and sacrifice.

I don't seem to have found it in any commentaries.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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There is commentary on it, but no one seems to know:

D&C 132:51–56. What Was Emma Commanded Not to Partake of?

No indication is given here or elsewhere of what the Lord had commanded the Prophet Joseph to offer to his wife, but the context seems to suggest that it was a special test of faith similar to the test of Abraham’s faith when the Lord commanded him to sacrifice Isaac. Beyond that, it is useless to speculate. However, Emma was given additional counsel from the Lord, including commandments to “receive all those that have been given to her husband” (D&C 132:52) to obey the voice of the Lord (see v. 53), to “abide and cleave unto” the Prophet (v. 54), and to forgive him of his trespasses (see v. 56). The Lord also gave her warnings against rejecting these commandments and promises for keeping them.

President Wilford Woodruff, who was closely associated with the Prophet Joseph Smith, said: “Emma Smith, the widow of the Prophet, is said to have maintained to her dying moments that her husband had nothing to do with the patriarchal order of marriage, but that it was Brigham Young that got that up. I bear record before God, angels and men that Joseph Smith received that revelation, and I bear record that Emma Smith gave her husband in marriage to several women while he was living, some of whom are to-day living in this city, and some may be present in this congregation, and who, if called upon, would confirm my words. But lo and behold, we hear of publication after publication now-a-days, declaring that Joseph Smith had nothing to do with these things. Joseph Smith himself organized every endowment in our Church and revealed the same to the Church, and he lived to receive every key of the Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods from the hands of the men who held them while in the flesh, and who hold them in eternity.” (In Journal of Discourses, 23:131.)

http://www.ldsces.org/inst_manuals/dc-in/dc-in-131.htm

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Another husband?

In verse 51, Emma is told to stay herself because what she was offered was only a test.

Then she's told to accept Joseph's additional wives in the next few verses.

Immediately thereafter (verse 54) she's told to stay with Joseph AND NONE ELSE.

Curious...

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Another husband?

In verse 51, Emma is told to stay herself because what she was offered was only a test.

Then she's told to accept Joseph's additional wives in the next few verses.

Immediately thereafter (verse 54) she's told to stay with Joseph AND NONE ELSE.

Curious...

Yep, the only commentary I've ever seen on that particular verse speculated that Joseph offered Emma a plural husband. Brother husbands anyone?

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Another husband?

In verse 51, Emma is told to stay herself because what she was offered was only a test.

Then she's told to accept Joseph's additional wives in the next few verses.

Immediately thereafter (verse 54) she's told to stay with Joseph AND NONE ELSE.

Curious...

That was my thought as well. I guess what's good for the gander is not good for the goose.

H.

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That was my thought as well. I guess what's good for the gander is not good for the goose.

H.

I agree that is a real pain.

I have been trying to get pregnant now for 40 years- totally unfair!

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I agree that is a real pain.

I have been trying to get pregnant now for 40 years- totally unfair!

Does this mean you feel it's OK that Joseph had multiple partners, but Emma was commanded to have only one? Or are you saying that the purpose of Joseph's multiple partners was to impregnate each of them, and since only men can impregnate women, not vice-versa, the commandment makes sense?

It's an odd comparison that you are making.

H.

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I have been trying to get pregnant now for 40 years- totally unfair!

:P

My sincere condolences ... it must be hard to pass by mannequins dressed in maternity attire and not feel a strong longing in your bosom.

Still, I trust that your persistent efforts have not gone entirely unrewarded.

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Does this mean you feel it's OK that Joseph had multiple partners, but Emma was commanded to have only one?

"Partners?"

Somehow that strikes me as a loaded term in the context of this discussion.

Even so, there is already an established precedent for a woman to be sealed to more than one husband, and I personally don't see the problem with that.

I have, in previous threads touching upon this topic, articulated the example of a woman married in the temple in 1942 to a man who left within the week to go to war, and was subsequently killed. The woman then marries another man and raises a family. After 30 years of marriage to this second husband, he dies, leaving her a widow in her early fifties. She subsequently marries a third man, with whom she remains until they both die in their eighties. She loved each of the men, and lived satisfyingly and righteously with all of them, in turn.

One might, given such a scenario, reasonably consider the very real possibility that, in the economy of heaven, this woman will be permitted to enjoy eternal relationships with all three of her righteous husbands. What may seem to us distasteful or immoral from the perspective of our mortal existence may, in all likelihood, appear differently in a setting where the constructs of time and space are either radically altered, or dispensed with altogether.

From a personal standpoint, if I were to die today, I would want my dear wife to remarry, meaning she could very well remain with her second husband for even longer than she has with me. During that time she would no doubt develop a strong bond with that husband. I do not believe I would, in the eternal scheme of things, be inclined to require her to sever that relationship in heavenly realms. Don't misunderstand, I cannot conceive of how such things would be managed in that setting. I simply cannot reconcile the justice and mercy of God in this matter without acknowledging the very real possibility that "that which is wrong in one circumstance may be and often is right in another."

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Does this mean you feel it's OK that Joseph had multiple partners, but Emma was commanded to have only one? Or are you saying that the purpose of Joseph's multiple partners was to impregnate each of them, and since only men can impregnate women, not vice-versa, the commandment makes sense?

It's an odd comparison that you are making.

I would say it's far less odd than having the picture of a man who cultivated sexual relationships with teenage boys (Mayor of Castro Street) for an avatar....

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:P

My sincere condolences ... it must be hard to pass by mannequins dressed in maternity attire and not feel a strong longing in your bosom.

Still, I trust that your persistent efforts have not gone entirely unrewarded.

LOL

Well I have managed to muddle through somehow ;)

Maybe this is a derail, maybe not, but I thought you would appreciate this thought.

I find it amazing that in our politically correct culture, women cannot ever be said to be in any way constrained by their sexual biology, but gay people are said to be completely constrained by their sexual biology.

That's one I will never figure out.

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I would say it's far less odd than having the picture of a man who cultivated sexual relationships with teenage boys (Mayor of Castro Street) for an avatar....

Harvey Milk, eh?

Hadn't noticed that before.

I hope that image isn't copyrighted. :P

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"Partners?"

Somehow that strikes me as a loaded term in the context of this discussion.

I would say it's far less odd than having the picture of a man who cultivated sexual relationships with teenage boys (Mayor of Castro Street) for an avatar....

You think, guess, or know that this is the case?

Wow, three posts, three comments on me, my use of language, and my use of a gay right's advocate. In a row. And not one makes an attempt (save Will) to address the *actual topic*.

You's guys are on your game. Bravo! Encore!

H.

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Wow, three posts, three comments on me, my use of language, and my use of a gay right's advocate. In a row. And not one makes an attempt (save Will) to address the *actual topic*.

Seems to me that all three specifically addressed your answer to the topic.

I would say it's far less odd than having the picture of a man who cultivated sexual relationships with teenage boys (Mayor of Castro Street) for an avatar....
Harvey Milk, eh?

Hadn't noticed that before.

I hope that image isn't copyrighted

{Personal Attack}

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If the only interpretation proffered of this verse is actuality, it appears Emma was commanded to have two before she was commanded to have only one.

This seems unusual.

Unusual? It seems to me that Joseph Smith's standard MO was to claim that God wanted them to do something really kinky (e.g. "marry" his wife), and then (sometimes) back out by saying, "just kidding; I just wanted to test your faithfulness." Given his history of testing his male friends this way, why wouldn't he test his wife the same way?

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Seems to me that all three specifically addressed your answer to the topic.

Well, then it must be some secret combination, because I can't see how any of those answers addressed the topic...

Well, LDSToronto pointed out how odd someone's logic might be, and I simply found it odd that someone who supports an alternative lifestyle which is contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and idolizes a high profile sexual predator would find such a thing odd.

A 'high profile sex predator', huh? Well, OK, I suppose I could expect that from the likes of some of you on this board. However, discounting what I say because of my choice of avatar, and then making the leap that I *idolize* the person portrayed in my avatar....That seems a little irrational, even for you, BCSpace.

I wonder what it means that you idolize androgynous cartoon characters that look a little boyish and a little girlish? Maybe I should start discounting your opinion based on your idolatry of cartoon girly-boys?

H.

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How about everybody quits acting like middle-school kids and gets back to the subject of the thread? Take it PMs if you feeling like insulting each other, its annoying.

And, as for Analytics post:

Unusual? It seems to me that Joseph Smith's standard MO was to claim that God wanted them to do something really kinky (e.g. "marry" his wife), and then (sometimes) back out by saying, "just kidding; I just wanted to test your faithfulness." Given his history of testing his male friends this way, why wouldn't he test his wife the same way?

I think its standard MO for God to test his children's faithfulness. Abraham and Issac (or Ishmael) being a case in point, and one a lot harder to deal with then multiple spouses in my opinion.

And I don't think we know whether or not that's what Emma was commanded to do, its just speculation, although a possible one.

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"Partners?"

Somehow that strikes me as a loaded term in the context of this discussion.

Something downright Mike Quinnish therein, ain't there?

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How about everybody quits acting like middle-school kids and gets back to the subject of the thread? Take it PMs if you feeling like insulting each other, its annoying.

And, as for Analytics post:

I think its standard MO for God to test his children's faithfulness. Abraham and Issac (or Ishmael) being a case in point, and one a lot harder to deal with then multiple spouses in my opinion.

And I don't think we know whether or not that's what Emma was commanded to do, its just speculation, although a possible one.

In a sense it's speculation, but it is the only plausible scenario on the table. From the context, it's the only scenario that makes sense: the section is laying down the new rules of polygamy. The context is that Emma must receive the virgins that God is giving to Joseph, and that rather than accepting what Joseph "offered her", she is supposed to "cleave unto my servant Joseph, and to none else." If Emma was being commanded not to accept something else that was offered (e.g. a necklace, permission to skip church for a month, etc.), why would it be brought up in this context?

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"Partners?"

Somehow that strikes me as a loaded term in the context of this discussion.

I agree. "Partners" implies a union of equals. In this case, we're talking about God "giving" virgins to Joseph Smith so that he can be a ruler over many things. No partnership there.

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