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God commanded Abraham?


Benji

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I have heard it said many times by people on this board that Mormon scriptures are consistent with the Bible. Well, here is one example where they are not:

D&C 132:

verse 34 - "God acommanded Abraham, and Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham to wife. And why did she do it? Because this was the law; and from Hagar sprang many people. This, therefore, was fulfilling, among other things, the promises."

verse 65 - "...when I commanded Abraham to take Hagar to wife.

The Bible, on the other hand says nothing of God commanding Abram (God had not yet changed his name to Abraham at this point - another discrepancy) to do such a thing and makes it clear that Sarai (whose name also had not yet been changed to Sarah) came up with the idea of her husband and Hagar sleeping together:

Genesis 16

verse 2-5 "...go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife. And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes. And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom..."

According to the Bible this was a completely human idea which is not at all what D&C states.

Comments?

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Notice also in 2 Samuel 12:7-11 that a specific 'command' is not needed, just authorization. Notice how the prophet Nathan said that the Lord would've given him more (wives and concubines) if he'd just asked. Instead, David committed adultery and murdered to cover it up.

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Sorry Paul but I've never heard of the "Between the Line version." Was that supposed to be some kind of joke? The fact remains that D&C 132: 34 & 65 dramatically differs with Genesis 16: 2-5 on the issue of God commanding polygamy versus it being a human idea. Just for clarification here's Genesis 16: 1-5 in full from the KJV:

Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife. And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes. And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the LORD judge between me and thee.

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I know of nothing in Exodus that governs a man taking another wife but here's another verse that prohibits it:

Deuteronomy 17:17 - Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.

Of course, my original point was that D&C 132:34 & 65 dramatically contradicts Genesis 16:2-5 and no one has really addressed that issue sufficiently.

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Benji,

I think you misunderstand what the scriptures other than the bible are for. They are not to repeat the same stuff as the bible, but they are to, among other things, clarify the teachings that we read in the bible. One could read the bible account and rightfully say 'it was a human idea that Abraham hook up with Hagar'. But then, if that were true, would that not put Abraham in a very precarious position in regard to his prophetic calling? The D&C helps clarify that it was not a human idea but rather God commanded it and sanctioned it. Thus the D&C is a help to the bible and does not contradict as you claim.

MF

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I have heard it said many times by people on this board that Mormon scriptures are consistent with the Bible. Well, here is one example where they are not:

First, consistent with is not identical to . . they can complement the witness of God's unchanging justice and mercy.

Second, the Lord speaking in the 1800s has every right to call him Abraham, the name He gave him many, many years earlier . . especially after giving Abraham his throne . . . or did you have some other point?

Third, Abraham was already a prophet by Chap 16 and he continues as such afterward. Are you suggesting he followed his wife blindly, that he didn't bring the issue to the Lord, and that yet the Lord blessed him SO greatly? And thus we see, the Lord corrects Hagar and blesses Abraham and Ismael just verses afterward . . .

Whether it be the Holy Ghost influenced Sarah who went to Abraham, who went to the Lord, or whether there be more to the story than we are told, or whether the translation simply loses something for us, I do not know. How the mechanics worked is not the point. The common principle here is that the Lord approved it. Not that it really matters to us today . . . except that we can take it to the Lord for our own witness. :P

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Benji,

It would be boring if the D&C was simply a carbon copy of the Bible. We LDS appreciate more information than what is given in the books of the Bible. The D&C gives us further light and knowledge. Have you bothered to read the account given by Josephus?

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I know of nothing in Exodus that governs a man taking another wife but here's another verse that prohibits it:

Deuteronomy 17:17 - Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.

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Mormon Factor and 1dc, the verses I mentioned from D&C 132 clearly do not clarify nor compliment anything from the Bible. In fact, they state something completely opposite from what the Bible says. This is clearly seen in verse 5

Genesis 16:5 - And Sarai said unto Abram, my WRONG be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom..."

This verse shows that Sarai is well aware of the fact that she had done something wrong rather than obeying the command of God which D&C states. Therefore, there is no clarification involved, but rather CLEAR CONTRADICTION and OPPOSITION. If it were clarification as you claim, then there would be a logical flow from the narrative but that is clearly not the case.

Additionally, the fact that Abram's name had not been changed to Abraham at this point is very significant part of the story and if D&C is supposed to be complimentary to the Bible then it would maintain consistency with the chronology of the story.

As for the Lord approving of what happened, there is no indication of that. He made a covenant with Abram to bless him regardless of his actions. It is seen throughout the Bible that God blesses people even when they have sinned. Therefore, claiming that blessing someone is equal to approving of their actions does not gel with the Bible at all.

Finally, to imply that there may be "more to the story" or merely a "translation problem" is just not looking at what these verses clearly state.

And Paul, I wasn't aware that the LDS church considered the writings of Josephus to be scripture?

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Mormon Factor and 1dc, the verses I mentioned from D&C 132 clearly do not clarify nor compliment anything from the Bible.  In fact, they state something completely opposite from what the Bible says.  This is clearly seen in verse 5

Genesis 16:5 - And Sarai said unto Abram, my WRONG be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom..."

This verse shows that Sarai is well aware of the fact that she had done something wrong rather than obeying the command of God which D&C states.  . . .

Clearly? Apparently not.

Her wrong was accepting/approving Hagar as another wife, as that verse explains . . since Hagar was prideful and did not respect Sarah.

Your point on names is illogical . . the story is not being told anew, it was summarized in answer to an inquiry made by JS, who was fully aware of the name change . . . why would the Lord use Abram when He had changed the name several thousand years earlier and those involved in the conversation both knew that. Just so it would be easier for you to understand/accept?

The Lord blessed not only Abraham, but also Sarah even after needing to send angels before and after the whole episode. He blessed Hagar (in spite of her pride) and Ismael, though not without some serious consequences. The alternative you seem to suggestis the Lord was planning on blessing the world with the seed of an adulterer/Prophet with no apparent reproach . . a strange conclusion, IMO.

You're certainly free to interpret it that way if you choose, but your point is neither clear nor logical when viewed within all of scripture to me.

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And Paul, I wasn't aware that the LDS church considered the writings of Josephus to be scripture?

I think you well know that LDS scripture consists of:

Bible

Book of Mormon

D&C

Pearl of Great Price

The works of Josephus offer addional insight into the history of Israel and the house of Judah. It also lends support to what the Lord told Joseph Smith about Abraham having an extra wife.

Paul O

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Mormon Factor and 1dc, the verses I mentioned from D&C 132 clearly do not clarify nor compliment anything from the Bible. In fact, they state something completely opposite from what the Bible says. This is clearly seen in verse 5

Genesis 16:5 - And Sarai said unto Abram, my WRONG be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom..."

I think Sara was being a big cry baby! She was upset about things and murmered against her husband and perhaps even the Lord.

I like the NLT Version:

Then Sarai said to Abram, "It's all your fault! Now this servant of mine is pregnant, and she despises me, though I myself gave her the privilege of sleeping with you. The LORD will make you pay for doing this to me!"

Paul O

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1dc, your "interpretation" of these verses is a minority view held only by Mormons. The standard Christian view of this section is that Abram and Sarai were impatient and tried to fulfill God's promise on their own. This had serious repercussions that are still affecting us today (the conflict between Arabs and Jews). Therefore, this is a clear example where Mormon doctrine differs from standard Christian doctrine.

As for blessing the world through the seed of an adulterer, not even Mormons argue about David's sin of adultery and he was also in the bloodline of Christ who was the ultimate fulfillment of the promise God made to Abraham.

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I think Sara

Oh dear, I did the same thing others sometimes do. I alluded to the name Sarah rathar than that of Sarai before the name was changed!

But isn't she the same person anyway? Yes, she is. We can refer to her in either name. For example:

Shall we say, "house of Jacob" or "house of Israel"?

Go figure. :P

Paul O

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Paul, I find it interesting that its okay for you to quote non-scriptural material to support your position but when I quote Mormon prophets to support mine it is considered "opinion" and therefore discredited.

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Paul, I find it interesting that its okay for you to quote non-scriptural material to support your position but when I quote Mormon prophets to support mine it is considered "opinion" and therefore discredited.

Sounds like you have been having some interesting discussions with other people on another thread.

Perhaps you should check with Jewish Bible experts about Abraham's Egyptian wife before you assume too much. Have you done your homework?

I think you are making some assumptions to think that Abram/Abraham took an Egyptian wife into his bed without God's command. You would be well advised to take the position of Josephus and Joseph Smith before you condemn a holy prophet.

Mormons honor Abraham and are sure he acted in righteousness and was a friend of God.

Paul O

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According to the Bible this was a completely human idea which is not at all what D&C states. 

Comments?

Do you feel the same way about:

Gen 25:1 Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah.

The Bible doen't say whether God commanded this wedding or if Abraham was just lusting for another woman. Joseph Smith made no comment either.

What say you? What right do you have to say God did not command polygamy?

It seems to me that the Lord is blessing Abraham just as he did earlier with Hagar.

Paul O

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Mormons honor Abraham and are sure he acted in righteousness and was a friend of God.

Ad did Jesus Christ and Paul the Apostle.

Indeed, it shocks me to learn that the Christian world thinks Abraham was simply taking more flesh for his own pleasure and desire to multiply without God's approval.

I'm so grateful to be a Mormon.

Paul O

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Well Paul, I'm sure you would be shocked to learn a lot of things that the Christian world thinks because it is a different gospel than the one taught by the Mormon church. I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. Take care.

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Benji, if your whole point about this polygamy thing is to assert that Joseph Smith and his successors could not have been prophets because of their practice of polygamy, your argument is totally baseless, and totally unconvincing.

Here's why:

There are many different opinions held my non-Mormon Christians concerning Biblical polygamy.

Here are a few popular ones I have heard.

1) Abraham and Jacob practiced polygamy, but that's ok. Everybody is a sinner after all. God does not expect us to be perfect, so why would it be any different with Abraham and Jacob?

Rebuttal: Ok then, under this argument Joseph and Brigham and others were also just sinners. Why would God expect them to be perfect when he doesn't expect anybody else to be perfect? After all, everybody is a sinner. When the logic is applied to Joseph and Brigham as well, the argument does not stand.

2) Abraham and Jacob did not actually practice polygamy. They merely committed adultery, but everybody is a sinner after all. God does not expect anybody to be perfect.

Rebuttal:This is ludicrous given that the bible clearly says that they did practice polygamy. Even if they had only committed adultery (giving this idea the benefit of the doubt), then you could still apply the same to Joseph and Brigham. Joseph and Brigham were sinners just like Abraham and Jacob.

But this arguement contradicts the teachings of Paul. Galatians 5:19-21 says that anybody who commits adultery "shall not inherit the kingdom of God". It seems rather obvious to me that if one cannot inherit the Kingdom of God because of adultery, then one is also not worthy of being a Prophet.

3) Both Abraham and Jacob did, in fact, practice polygamy, but this was during the dark and sinful periods of their lives, and they both repented and changed before God had called them to be Prophets.

Rebuttal:This is a nice thought. But unfortunatley it is not out of the Bible. There is no textual support anywhere in the Bible that suggests that Abraham or Jacob repented, or even needed to repent of polygamy. In fact, there is plenty of evidence to the contrary. Jesus Christ on several occations in the NT reveres Abraham and says he and Jacob are in the Kingdom of Heaven with all the other Prophets. He even suggests that we should do the works of Abraham. Paul, on many occations, reveres Abraham, considers him to be righteous and also in the Kingdom of Heaven. It cannot be found anywhere in the OT or in the NT that Abraham and Jacob repented or needed to repent of polygamy. The idea is simply a manufactured theory by non-Mormon Christians who have a difficult time accepting that Abraham and Jacob, the great Patriarchs, were in fact polygamists. It does not sit well with their Western cultured brains so they make something up to make themselves feel better about it. It's just a very pathetic rationalization.

So maybe I am wrong about assuming that, ultimately, your point in bringing up this polygamy issue is to assert that because Joesph and Brigham practiced polygamy they were false prophets. Your belief is that polygamy is wrong in all cases. That Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and others were perverted, lustful men making up their own doctrines so that could gratify their lustful desires in the name of religion.

If I am wrong, then fine. But I doubt I am too far off the mark.

Anybody who professes a belief in the Bible cannot use any of those arguements to stand on, because they do not add up, as I have shown. Now, an atheist

or agnostic would actually have something to stand on, since they don't really believe in the Bible and such.

But for those that believe in the Bible and Jesus Christ, give it up!!! An indepth analysis of the issue shows that criticizing Mormon polygamy is synonymous to criticizing Christianity.

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Well Paul, I'm sure you would be shocked to learn a lot of things that the Christian world thinks because it is a different gospel than the one taught by the Mormon church. I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. Take care.

Yes, I agree in many ways we have a different gospel.

See, ya.

Paul O

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Well Paul, I'm sure you would be shocked to learn a lot of things that the Christian world thinks because it is a different gospel than the one taught by the Mormon church.

I agree with you Benji.

It is also a different gospel than the one taught by Jesus Christ.

I prefer Jesus' gospel and not the world's. I'll stick with His church and His gospel, the one restored by Joseph Smith.

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