Jump to content

Did the 1st D&C deny polygamy?


Spiceman

Recommended Posts

Can someone please confirm or negate this for me? Thanks in advance.

In the first edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, printed in 1835, in Section 101:4, there is denial of polygamy, calling it a "crime of fornication..." This remained in the D&C until 1876, when it was removed, and Section 132 added about God commanding the practice of polygamy.
Link to comment
Can someone please confirm or negate this for me? Thanks in advance.
In the first edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, printed in 1835, in Section 101:4, there is denial of polygamy, calling it a "crime of fornication..." This remained in the D&C until 1876, when it was removed, and Section 132 added about God commanding the practice of polygamy.

It actually said:

". . . Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication and polygamy: we declare that we believe that one man should have one wife: and one woman, but one husband, except in the case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again."

Plural marriage has always been considered a form of adultery or fornication unless authorized by God and the scriptures bear this out (2 Samuel 12:7-11, Jacob 2:30 etc.)

Link to comment
Can someone please confirm or negate this for me? Thanks in advance.
In the first edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, printed in 1835, in Section 101:4, there is denial of polygamy, calling it a "crime of fornication..." This remained in the D&C until 1876, when it was removed, and Section 132 added about God commanding the practice of polygamy.

It actually said:

". . . Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication and polygamy: we declare that we believe that one man should have one wife: and one woman, but one husband, except in the case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again."

Then who added D&C 132 in 1876? If JS was dead was it BY ?

If this is true, of which I never knew, this is a very slam dunk against Polygamy,

especially the word Reproach. wow!

Link to comment
Then who added D&C 132 in 1876? If JS was dead was it BY ?

If this is true, of which I never knew, this is a very slam dunk against Polygamy,

Because of the scriptural record, it's a slam dunk against the unauthorized practice of plural marriage. Nothing more, nothing less.

Link to comment

We (Community of Christ) still have the original in our D&C. We have it as Section 111.

It should be pointed out that this (Section 111) was not originally a revelation, but rather a statement of belief and practice. It was voted upon by Conference and accepted as the law of the church. It was also included in the D&C by action of conference and the exercise of common consent.

It is interesting to note that John Taylor read this section to a hostile crowd of questioners in England (while he was an apostolic missionary) to disarm them and prove to them that the church did not practice plural marriage. He had at that time 3 wives.

Such integrity!

Alan

Link to comment
It is interesting to note that John Taylor read this section to a hostile crowd of questioners in England (while he was an apostolic missionary) to disarm them and prove to them that the church did not practice plural marriage. He had at that time 3 wives.

And your non Sharon Banister reference is?

Link to comment

Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication and polygamy: we declare that we believe that one man should have one wife: and one woman, but one husband, except in the case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again."

Your referreing to the word "crime" meaning unauthorized? Then why didnt they say so? How do you know this?

Why cant you just take it for what it says? Why do all of the LDS posters on this site have to twist things to justify the sin?

It says simply that Fornication and Polygamy are crimes. PERIOD!!! There is no other statement about unauthorized...sheesh...

Why not just write it as:

Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication and unauthorized use of polygamy:

But they did NOT, so the meaning of Polygamy is a crime, a sin..get it????

Link to comment

It says "crime of fornication and polygamy." It doesn't say "crimes of fornication and polygamy" nor does it say "crime of fornication or polygamy." It is definitely a crime to commit both fornication and polygamy together.

Just to repeat BCSpace, we do believe that no one should have more than one spouse, unless commanded otherwise.

Link to comment

I just want ot give this old Doctrine and Covenants section some historical backdrop. I am going to do from the top of my head so if any these ideas are disputable, it might be necessary to do some fact checking.

Polygamy had already been revealed and practiced as a principle by or during 1835. There is evidence that Joseph Smith married Fanny Alger that year and learned about polygamy in 1830-31(?) in his work on the JST. Apparently this marriage got in the open somewhat. I would say Oliver Cowderry, Warren Parish, Emma, and other leading Kirtlanders found out about. There is an exciting tale of rescuing of Fanny in the temple from brethren trying to get her to confess.

Oliver is asked to mediate with Emma. He also writes the Doctrine and Covenants section, IIRC. At this point Oliver confuses me. I don't know how much he understood of polygamy being a revealed principle. There is evidence he considers Joseph's activities to be adultery. On the other hand, all seems to me to be in a state of rightness with the Lord because the two are both priveliged with the theophany recorded in section 110 in 1836.

The temporay Doctrine and Covenants passage follows a pattern of advocating monogamy and denying polygamy, but has a loop hole for a notable exception.

Link to comment

I'm afraid this one troubles me. Why leave it in until 1876? I am starting to get the impression that the brethren wanted to present one image to the world, while living in complete contrast with that image. This worries me, as does the removal of the Lectures on faith that say God is a spirit. It certainly seems like there is some confusion in the early church as to what is, and isn't doctrine.

As for John Taylor's reading out section 111, while he had 3 wives, is there any evidence of that?

Link to comment

Let me see if I can shed some light on this subject. The "Article on Marrige" was written by Oliver Cowdery and presented to the church for publication in the 1835 edition of the Doctrine & Covenants. Joseph Smith was not at this conference, but was in Michigan at the time. The body of the church voted to sustain the inclusion of the article in the upcoming 1835 edition. This was all done in Joseph's absense. The article was known to be written by Oliver Cowderey and it was not presented as a revelation. In 1835, the Law of the church was monogamy. It is true, that Joseph had already received the revelation on plural marriage and had taught it privately to some members, and some were indeed practicing it, but as of yet, the law was not for the entire church and Joseph Smith allowed the publication of the article to proceed. There is evidence that he was somewhat reluctant, but chose, at the time to sustain the vote of the church. As for section 132, Joseph received the basis of this revelation, probably about 1832, but it was not written until 1843, after Hyrum convinced Joseph to have it written for Emma's benefit. Since the doctrine was not publicly taught until after the saints arrived in Utah (although, it was certainly well known by this time), it was not included in the Doctrine & Covenants until the next version was printed in 1876. The law of the Lord regarding marriage is always monogamy, unless the Lord commands otherwise.

Hope that helps.

T-Shirt

Link to comment
Guest Just Curious

Great write up T-shirt (I really mean it)....that is pretty comprehensive....but it just causes one to question if Joseph was already teaching polygamy why in the world would he allow this to continue to be in there...frankly it just don't make sense...

Let me see if I can shed some light on this subject. The "Article on Marrige" was written by Oliver Cowdery and presented to the church for publication in the 1835 edition of the Doctrine & Covenants. Joseph Smith was not at this conference, but was in Michigan at the time. The body of the church voted to sustain the inclusion of the article in the upcoming 1835 edition. This was all done in Joseph's absense. The article was known to be written by Oliver Cowderey and it was not presented as a revelation. In 1835, the Law of the church was monogamy. It is true, that Joseph had already received the revelation on plural marriage and had taught it privately to some members, and some were indeed practicing it, but as of yet, the law was not for the entire church and Joseph Smith allowed the publication of the article to proceed. There is evidence that he was somewhat reluctant, but chose, at the time to sustain the vote of the church. As for section 132, Joseph received the basis of this revelation, probably about 1832, but it was not written until 1843, after Hyrum convinced Joseph to have it written for Emma's benefit. Since the doctrine was not publicly taught until after the saints arrived in Utah (although, it was certainly well known by this time), it was not included in the Doctrine & Covenants until the next version was printed in 1876. The law of the Lord regarding marriage is always monogamy, unless the Lord commands otherwise.
Link to comment
Great write up T-shirt (I really mean it)....that is pretty comprehensive....but it just causes one to question if Joseph was already teaching polygamy why in the world would he allow this to continue to be in there...frankly it just don't make sense...

Actually, I need to revise my comments above. It seems rather apparent, that Fanny Alger was Joseph's first plural wife. The details of this relationship is scant, at best. However, evidence seems to indicate that Joseph married Fanny sometime in late 1836 or in 1837. So, even though Joseph Smith already knew of plural marriage and may have spoke to others regarding it, there had not as yet (at least, evidence would indicate) been any plural marriages performed. Joseph was very fearful of what would happen once the doctrine was revealed, which is why it was practiced so secretly at first. So in 1835, after the conference was held, sustaining the "Article on Marriage" in Joseph's absence, monogamy was still the law of the church, and Joseph was not ready to change things yet, at least not publicly, and I would imagine that he found himself in somewhat of a difficult situation. The saints had already accepted Oliver Cowdery's article and it wasn't time to reaveal the doctrine publicly to the church, so I don't see that he had much choice but to let things be for the time being. Even in 1843, when the doctrine was much more known and practiced, although still, not publicly and openly, Joseph was still reluctant to have the revelation written down. He only did so after the prodding of his brother, Hyrum, in an effort to calm Emma down. (which didn't work, as Joseph predicted)

T-Shirt

Link to comment
Great write up T-shirt (I really mean it)....that is pretty comprehensive....but it just causes one to question if Joseph was already teaching polygamy why in the world would he allow this to continue to be in there...frankly it just don't make sense...

Actually, I need to revise my comments above. It seems rather apparent, that Fanny Alger was Joseph's first plural wife. The details of this relationship is scant, at best. However, evidence seems to indicate that Joseph married Fanny sometime in late 1836 or in 1837. So, even though Joseph Smith already knew of plural marriage and may have spoke to others regarding it, there had not as yet (at least, evidence would indicate) been any plural marriages performed. Joseph was very fearful of what would happen once the doctrine was revealed, which is why it was practiced so secretly at first. So in 1835, after the conference was held, sustaining the "Article on Marriage" in Joseph's absence, monogamy was still the law of the church, and Joseph was not ready to change things yet, at least not publicly, and I would imagine that he found himself in somewhat of a difficult situation. The saints had already accepted Oliver Cowdery's article and it wasn't time to reaveal the doctrine publicly to the church, so I don't see that he had much choice but to let things be for the time being. Even in 1843, when the doctrine was much more known and practiced, although still, not publicly and openly, Joseph was still reluctant to have the revelation written down. He only did so after the prodding of his brother, Hyrum, in an effort to calm Emma down. (which didn't work, as Joseph predicted)

T-Shirt

I guess my question is, why would Joseph be reluctant to write down a revelation?? Wouldn't God require it to be written? Why would it take the prodding of Hyrum to have it written? I am at this point bewildered as to some of our history...... to the point where I am seriously considering my standing in the church.

I am amazed that Brigham Young the prophet can declare one thing about the Negroes and then it obviously be revealed later to be wrong. I am of course referring to his comments on the Negro in the J Of D's. The argument is that it isn't church doctrine, but I have a huge problem with that because it is the words of a prophet who says "this is the mind and will of the Lord... and it will forever be so". Obviously it wasn't forever so. I have to accept that he was wrong. So ok, prophets aren't infallible. But then what of their words should I trust or not trust? Obviously they are not in communication with the Savior because surely if they were, they would be corrected on their errors.

Link to comment
Great write up T-shirt (I really mean it)....that is pretty comprehensive....but it just causes one to question if Joseph was already teaching polygamy why in the world would he allow this to continue to be in there...frankly it just don't make sense...

Actually, I need to revise my comments above. It seems rather apparent, that Fanny Alger was Joseph's first plural wife. The details of this relationship is scant, at best. However, evidence seems to indicate that Joseph married Fanny sometime in late 1836 or in 1837.

I am curious to learn the sources for the 1836-1837 date for the Fanny Alger.

The only sources I know for a possible marriage date are Benjamin Johnson who puts it in 1835 and Mosiah Hancock who puts it in 1833.

Earlier I posted that the Fanny Alger marriage directly led to the framing of section "111".

Edit: for more about Fanny see this older thread.

Link to comment
Let me see if I can shed some light on this subject. The "Article on Marrige" was written by Oliver Cowdery and presented to the church for publication in the 1835 edition of the Doctrine & Covenants. Joseph Smith was not at this conference, but was in Michigan at the time. The body of the church voted to sustain the inclusion of the article in the upcoming 1835 edition. This was all done in Joseph's absense. The article was known to be written by Oliver Cowderey and it was not presented as a revelation. In 1835, the Law of the church was monogamy. It is true, that Joseph had already received the revelation on plural marriage and had taught it privately to some members, and some were indeed practicing it, but as of yet, the law was not for the entire church and Joseph Smith allowed the publication of the article to proceed. There is evidence that he was somewhat reluctant, but chose, at the time to sustain the vote of the church. As for section 132, Joseph received the basis of this revelation, probably about 1832, but it was not written until 1843, after Hyrum convinced Joseph to have it written for Emma's benefit. Since the doctrine was not publicly taught until after the saints arrived in Utah (although, it was certainly well known by this time), it was not included in the Doctrine & Covenants until the next version was printed in 1876. The law of the Lord regarding marriage is always monogamy, unless the Lord commands otherwise.

T-Shirt,

Interesting write up indeed. However, as I have found here, sometimes a bit a critical reading and facts can be very important to one's presentation. Let me demonstrate:

The "Article on Marrige" was written by Oliver Cowdery and presented to the church for publication in the 1835 edition of the Doctrine & Covenants.  ....  The article was known to be written by Oliver Cowderey and it was not presented as a revelation.

Could your conclusion with respect to these statements be that it has been an emotional "hand-me-down" you are citing or is there any factual proof that Cowdery wrote it. How do you know it was "written" or "authored" by Cowdery? Any first hand source? I ask this because of the following facts:

The Preface, or introduction to the 1835 D&C's has the following paragraph:

"The second part (referring to the D&C's) contains items or principles for the regulation of the church, as taken from the revelations which have been given since its organization, as well as from former ones." This statement was signed by J. Smith as well as Cowdery.

Furthermore, J. Smith ratified this doctrine on marriage many times over the next 9+ years through personal statements that are well documented in church publications. While a conspiracy theory implicating Cowdery may help in rationalizing your conclusions, it does not stand up to facts and reason.

As for section 132, Joseph received the basis of this revelation, probably about 1832, but it was not written until 1843, after Hyrum convinced Joseph to have it written for Emma's benefit.

Again, could this be some additional "emotional hand me down" you have been told? Again, the reason I ask is because of the following fact:

"Wednesday, 12.--I received the following revelation in

the presence of my brother Hyrum and Elder William Clayton:--" (Source: History of the Church, Chapter XXVI at http://www.boap.org/LDS/History/History_of_the_Church/Vol_V )

As Smith states, he "received" it on July 12, 1843. It did not say he recorded it for the benefit of Emma. Who did he "receive" it from???? Or perhaps you could provide your first hand source for your conclusion.

But looking at at from a perspective of reason and presidence, why would the lds church have to wait some 21 years to reveal it to the entire body. Are there other revealtions that Smith or Young received that had to "cure or age" if you will? Are there other revelations that were originally just "for a select few" that God revealed to Smith or Young? Why would Smith "publicly deny his practice of God's command" up to his death? Why did God now find it neccessary to "threaten" the prophet's wife after she had accepted all other revelations? But finally, if Smith really did receive it (132) in 1832, and had to get the blessing of his current wife, why in 1843, after years of practising polygamy, was Smith leary that Emma would be upset when Hyrum delivered a written copy of it to her?

Perhaps I come at it from the process of understanding all the facts first, then reaching a conclusion. I suppose others may go at it from the process of reaching a conclusion first, then looking for facts. Maybe I'm just funny that way!

Link to comment
Guest Just Curious
Perhaps I come at it from the process of understanding all the facts first, then reaching a conclusion. I suppose others may go at it from the process of reaching a conclusion first, then looking for facts. Maybe I'm just funny that way!

What a breath of fresh air...I would presume you are not LDS correct?

Link to comment
I guess my question is, why would Joseph be reluctant to write down a revelation??

Joseph was reluctant out of fear of what would happen. His fears, of course, were realized as the doctrine began to be practiced. There was internal apostasy, and great persecution, which played a roll in his death. He spoke of this concern on several occasions. One occassion was mentioned by Benjamin Johnson in a letter:

Criticism had already commenced by those near him in authority with regard to his teachings and his doing. And we began now, in a degree, to understand the meaning of what he had so often publicly said, that "should he teach and practice the principles that the Lord had revealed to him, and now requested of him, that those then nearest him in the stand would become his enemies and the first to seek his life"; which they soon did, just as he had foretold.
Wouldn't God require it to be written?
Link to comment
Guest Just Curious
Well, I will write the revelation and we will see.'' He then requested me to get paper and prepare to write. Hyrum very urgently requested Joseph to write the revelation by means of the Urim and Thummim, but Joseph, in reply, said he did not need to, for he knew the revelation perfectly from beginning to end.

I'm confused...I thought the angel Moroni had already taken back the Urim and Thummim with the gold plates....13 years before...

Link to comment

Joey: Could your conclusion with respect to these statements be that it has been an emotional "hand-me-down" you are citing or is there any factual proof that Cowdery wrote it. How do you know it was "written" or "authored" by Cowdery? Any first hand source?

T-Shirt: Are you serious? It is rather well documented in many sources that this was written by Oliver Cowdery.

Great, T-Shirt. So could you provide just one first hand source. And could you explain why it would be a better source than the "Preaface of the 1835 D&C's" actually signed by both Smith and Cowdery which I provided above. After all D&C's are official doctrine, are they not?

T-Shirt: As to your comments on section 132, I believed those are already answered above, but I will add this from B.F. Roberts:

B. F. Roberts, much like you, did not answer/address any of the questions/comments I made regarding 132. Also, what is a better source to use, J. Smith's own diary as presented in the LDS Church History, or third party statements? When and where did Roberts make his statements, and in what official capacity?

Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...