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Modern Polygamy Timeline & Purpose - not sure I follow...


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2 hours ago, SouthernMo said:

Also - how does having lots of children 15 years after the publication of the Book of Mormon and introduction of the priesthood  “jumpstart” the restoration?

It wouldn’t if the Book of Mormon and priesthood were all there was to the Restoration.

Phenomenal missionary successes and hundreds of children born in faithful homes gave the Church the population and talent needed for it to become established and to flourish in a very short time....basically in two generations.

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22 minutes ago, Maidservant said:

One word:  Anson Call.  I think you'd be hard pressed to find any intermountain West Latter-day Saint that isn't descended from him.  As well as any number of interconnected clans.

 

What difference would that make? Why is being a descendant of this person anymore important than being a descendant of a wife? What was her name? (And he is nowhere to be seen in my intermountain West clan.)

But before this continues, someone is going to have to explain why the heck being a "descendant" of anybody matters. DNA research has pretty much finished off the blood line myths so unless there is some mystical connection that carries on through one magic name and generations to come....it doesn't make one whit of difference. A lot of people don't even know who their ancestors are anyway.

 

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8 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

It wouldn’t if the Book of Mormon and priesthood were all there was to the Restoration.

Phenomenal missionary successes and hundreds of children born in faithful homes gave the Church the population and talent needed for it to become established and to flourish in a very short time....basically in two generations.

You realize how few Mormons there are in the world, right?  Flourish is not a word I’d use to describe the restoration in the grand scheme of history. It’s a blip on US history at best.

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1 hour ago, strappinglad said:

You need to spend a little time reading about the prophets , both ancient and modern. People have a tendency to put them on spiritual pedestals. God chooses them mostly because they are willing to follow Him and His counsels . Did Noah have any flaws?, Moses? Elisha? We recently had a thread about Joseph F Smith and his response to the priesthood question. Was he flawed? Probably, and yet if one actually looks at his entire life and accomplishments one would be hard pressed to do a tenth of what he did to further the Kingdom. You seem to want the prophet to be a marionette that moves at the slightest touch and never puts a foot wrong. With what judgement you judge , you will be judged. Personally , I cut the prophets all a fair amount of slack in the hope that God does a bit of cutting when it's my turn. 

I get your point.

Would you accept me as readily as you do Joseph Smith if I practiced polygamy in secret, only to claim a revelation two dozen wives into my practice? Cut us both the same slack?

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14 minutes ago, SouthernMo said:

You realize how few Mormons there are in the world, right?  Flourish is not a word I’d use to describe the restoration in the grand scheme of history. It’s a blip on US history at best.

And here we are - the covenanted faithful few, scattered over the face of the earth, armed with righteousness and the power of God, just as Nephi foresaw. Thanks be to God and to our courageous progenitors.

Edited by Bernard Gui
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1 hour ago, Maidservant said:

Hereabouts, it's not data, it's family history.  Jesse N. Smith.

 It's not the women having more children, necessarily.

Wow!

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By family counts Jesse N. Smith’s posterity is estimated between 50,000 to 60,000. Jesse, together with his wives, successfully raised 44 children. Jesse’s wives wrote in their journals that all the wives and the children all got along well together. He had 341 grandchildren, some of whom are still living and will be in attendance.

 

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5 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

And here we are - the covenanted faithful few, scattered over the face of the earth, armed with righteousness and the power of God, just as Nephi foresaw. Thanks be to God and to our courageous progenitors.

And it’s your position that such a small group would not have been possible were it not for polygamous marriages?

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20 hours ago, SouthernMo said:

The timeline and reasons of how the idea of polygamy evolved into practice is perplexing.  It is causing me doubt how scriptures are to be obeyed, and how to trust the revelatory process.  Let's look at the pattern Joseph Smith followed:

March 1830 - Joseph Smith publishes the Book of Mormon (supposedly scripture) which contains commandments from God.  The only discussion of polygamy is found in Jacob 2, which clearly condemns the practice.  However, there is a provision given for exceptions: only to 'raise up seed' if God commands it.

The Gospel Topics Essay on Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo states that "After receiving a revelation commanding him to practice plural marriage, Joseph Smith married multiple wives and introduced the practice to close associates."  The only revelation I know of on polygamy came in July 1843 (D&C 132), yet Joseph Smith had married 22 (by some count) additional wives by July 1843.

2 Big Questions:

1. What revelation did Joseph Smith receive (per the mentioned Gospel Topic Essay) before the D&C 132 revelation that told him to practice polygamy, despite the Book of Mormon's 1830 prohibition (with exception)?

I don't think there is anything reliable.  the 1831 revelation on it's own doesn't justify polygamy.  It took a comment in retrospect from Phelps some decades later to juice it up with polygamy.  the statement from 1831 is from Joseph it could just mean generally speaking there will be intermingling--that is the children of the then saints could marry the children of the native americans.  The history that the Church tried to hide this revelation, in the 20 century, and hoped it meant that polygamy was known by Joseph since as early as 1831 is concerning though.  And the claim has become tradition at this point.  It's hard to do away with it.  

20 hours ago, SouthernMo said:

2. In light of the Jacob 2:30 provision for the allowance of polygamy to "raise up seed unto me..." why are there no (known) children that emerged from Joseph Smith's plural wives?  Joseph apparently did not use polygamy to 'raise up seed.'

If polygamy was ever productive in raising up seed unto god anymore than monogamy, then we should all be living polygamously.  Sadly, that is just pipe dreams.  There's no way to know, for instance, if the Church would be better off or not if there never was polygamy.  Some might argue it would be far better off today than it is if there never was polygamy.  I think there's plenty of reason to say that's true.  It is without question possible, in my mind, that if there was no polygamy the children born to converted members could have been more faithful if there was no polygamy than they were with polygamy.  There was no standard set that the families reached perfection.  

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I tried for decades to spiritually justify, for myself, the Saints practice of polygamy.  While I can accept that there may be situations in which God sanctions polygamy, I came to the conclusion that the way it was practiced by Joseph and Brigham was wrong in that it doesn't align with scripture or what I believe God wants for His children.  And with that I was able to let it go... even though they were prophets they were capable of making mistakes, even colossal ones like this.

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1 hour ago, ALarson said:

Do you know the names of his wives?  I do.

I own his journal and have read every word of it.  He was a good man.  But, in my opinion, it is his wives who are the true heroes and yet they are rarely even mentioned by name when one speaks of Jesse N. Smith.  They are the ones who stayed home while he served his missions (living in extreme poverty and yet remaining loyal and faithful).  

And, they are also the ones who watched as he brought home a 15 year old bride from his last mission.  

Yes, they are the heroes and they loved each other because each one of them was a remarkably strong and valiant woman.

 

You're exactly right, they all were heroes! I picture Joseph, Brigham and the rest of the leaders meeting often. And then I picture Emma and the other men's wives, sewing/washing their clothes, making their meals, and raising their children, and attending to those in need, but they hardly get a mention. While OTOH, we get the quotes and history on the religious male leaders in scripture and manuals, but nothing on the women really. It use to irk me a lot when we'd learn out of the books "Presidents of the Church" each year, but not of their wives that probably made it so they can do what they did.

Edited by Tacenda
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22 hours ago, SouthernMo said:

The timeline and reasons of how the idea of polygamy evolved into practice is perplexing.  It is causing me doubt how scriptures are to be obeyed, and how to trust the revelatory process.  Let's look at the pattern Joseph Smith followed:

March 1830 - Joseph Smith publishes the Book of Mormon (supposedly scripture) which contains commandments from God.  The only discussion of polygamy is found in Jacob 2, which clearly condemns the practice.  However, there is a provision given for exceptions: only to 'raise up seed' if God commands it.

The Gospel Topics Essay on Plural Marriage in Kirtland and Nauvoo states that "After receiving a revelation commanding him to practice plural marriage, Joseph Smith married multiple wives and introduced the practice to close associates."  The only revelation I know of on polygamy came in July 1843 (D&C 132), yet Joseph Smith had married 22 (by some count) additional wives by July 1843.

2 Big Questions:

1. What revelation did Joseph Smith receive (per the mentioned Gospel Topic Essay) before the D&C 132 revelation that told him to practice polygamy, despite the Book of Mormon's 1830 prohibition (with exception)?

2. In light of the Jacob 2:30 provision for the allowance of polygamy to "raise up seed unto me..." why are there no (known) children that emerged from Joseph Smith's plural wives?  Joseph apparently did not use polygamy to 'raise up seed.'

First, lets start with the modern interpretation of Jacob 2:30.  Why does everyone just assume that its talking about polygamy?  It doesn't say anything about God commanding polygamy.  Its actually a difficult to understand sentence, because its in the same chapter as the condemnation of polygamy, but it is separated somewhat and it isn't clear as to what its referring to.  Is it a qualification of polygamy, or of other things in the chapter, or neither, is it even a reminder that sometimes the Lord commands his people to raise up seed.  Another interesting historical point is whether Joseph Smith considered this verse a justification for polygamy, and we don't have any evidence that he did, it wasn't used by early church leaders even after Joseph's death as a justification for polygamy and doesn't even show up in the historical record until the late 19th century.  You'd think that if the reading of this scripture so clearly justified polygamy that they would have used it as justification especially when rolling out the practice officially in 1852, but no, nothing.  I would argue that modern readings of this scripture are quite problematic.  The idea that a very clear and strongly worded condemnation of a practice is then qualified by a vague sentence later, is a pretty problematic way to read these scriptures.  

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30 For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.

Ether 1:43 talks about raising up seed as a nation building exercise.  The term seed is used in a broader context, and not specific to marriage relationships, this is more about nation building and perhaps building a covenant group of people.  

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43 And there will I bless thee and thy seed, and raise up unto me of thy seed, and of the seed of thy brother, and they who shall go with thee, a great nation. And there shall be none greater than the nation which I will raise up unto me of thy seed, upon all the face of the earth. And thus I will do unto thee because this long time ye have cried unto me.

 

 

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5 hours ago, SouthernMo said:

And it’s your position that such a small group would not have been possible were it not for polygamous marriages?

Umm, no. Refer to my explanation above.

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1 hour ago, ALarson said:

Do you know the names of his wives?  I do.

I own his journal and have read every word of it.  He was a good man.  But, in my opinion, it is his wives who are the true heroes and yet they are rarely even mentioned by name when one speaks of Jesse N. Smith.  They are the ones who stayed home while he served his missions (living in extreme poverty and yet remaining loyal and faithful).  

 

I googled looking for more about the most important part of this story, his wives. There was nothing beyond mention of “wives.” Especially from his Foundation’s main page. You would think all his wives’ posterity were conjured up by only him. This is one of the most egregious examples of how women are removed from history that I have seen. 

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23 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

First, lets start with the modern interpretation of Jacob 2:30.  Why does everyone just assume that its talking about polygamy?  It doesn't say anything about God commanding polygamy.  Its actually a difficult to understand sentence, because its in the same chapter as the condemnation of polygamy, but it is separated somewhat and it isn't clear as to what its referring to. 

I am always open to different interpretations of scripture.  For now, I'll stand by my interpretation that Jacob 2:30 is referring to polygamy.  It seems clear to me.  But - what alternative interpretation do you offer?  You'd present a stronger case for me to change my mind if you have something that it could mean, rather than just a rejection of what I take it to mean.

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59 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

First, lets start with the modern interpretation of Jacob 2:30.  Why does everyone just assume that its talking about polygamy?  It doesn't say anything about God commanding polygamy.  Its actually a difficult to understand sentence, because its in the same chapter as the condemnation of polygamy, but it is separated somewhat and it isn't clear as to what its referring to.  Is it a qualification of polygamy, or of other things in the chapter, or neither, is it even a reminder that sometimes the Lord commands his people to raise up seed.  Another interesting historical point is whether Joseph Smith considered this verse a justification for polygamy, and we don't have any evidence that he did, it wasn't used by early church leaders even after Joseph's death as a justification for polygamy and doesn't even show up in the historical record until the late 19th century.  You'd think that if the reading of this scripture so clearly justified polygamy that they would have used it as justification especially when rolling out the practice officially in 1852, but no, nothing.  I would argue that modern readings of this scripture are quite problematic.  The idea that a very clear and strongly worded condemnation of a practice is then qualified by a vague sentence later, is a pretty problematic way to read these scriptures.  

Ether 1:43 talks about raising up seed as a nation building exercise.  The term seed is used in a broader context, and not specific to marriage relationships, this is more about nation building and perhaps building a covenant group of people.  

Quote

30 For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.

The "otherwise they shall hearken unto these things" is the giveaway.  "These things" being what he just taught about monogamy.   "Otherwise" being the conditional exception to monogamy.  

What else could that possibly mean?  It doesn't seem vague at all that there are exceptions to the rule by the use of the word "otherwise".

I agree with you however that there could be possible alternatives to the interpretation of "raising up seed", Hamba has given one very good alternative interpretation. 

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