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


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4 minutes ago, why me said:

There is some truth in this. Islam does allow polygamy for this very reason. Of course there are other reasons why Islam allows up to 4 wives. However, when a man marries over 30 women, sex will probably not be the issue for marrying so many women.

It is pretty bad that in their minds they have such low expectations for men to stay monogamous, and in a way encourages wandering ways. Same with the early LDS leaders thinking this, or a few of them.

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On 1/30/2019 at 12:27 AM, CA Steve said:

This is really a silly defense and in no way necessary to defend Joseph. The thought that a well known leader of a religious sect could just wander off to a nearby town or county by himself, pay for sex on a regular basis, not be recognized and no one find out about it is beyond belief. But let's say for a moment that somehow this was possible and available for Joseph, for all you know he may have been availing himself anyways.

He may have been. Who knows. However, when someone marries over 30 women, I do believe that sex is not the primary motive. Something else is going on. I don't believe that Joseph's wives considered themselves to be legal sex workers. And certainly not one ever claimed so nor did they seem to say a negative word about him when he died. Usually, upon reflection after months or years, the reality sets in and the truth comes out. Not is this case. There positive feelings about Joseph speaks volumes.

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3 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

It is pretty bad that in their minds they have such low expectations for men to stay monogamous, and in a way encourages wandering ways. Same with the early LDS leaders thinking this, or a few of them.

I am not sure that this was the case with the lds. I do believe that they believed that it was a calling from god, a higher purpose and not for a man's libido. The church risked destruction because of polygamy. Much better ways to ensure survival than to allow men to have sex with more than one woman.

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On 1/21/2019 at 9:37 AM, 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.

I will address a couple of things which kind of reveal my pet peeves about the subject:

I first think it necessary to be more precise about the subject. I'm not trying to be argumentative, but I don't believe Jacob 2 "clearly condemns the practice." It condemned HOW the Nephites were practicing it, rather than the practice itself as practiced by their Jewish forebears. Notice it emphasizes that the Lamanites loved their wives and raised their children closely. For different reasons the Lord also condemned the polygamy of David. The sin of David was not in having multiple wives which scripture tells us the Lord "gave him." His sin was revealed by Nathan's parable of this man who had plenty of sheep, wanting the one sheep of another. The Lord has never condemned polygamy per se, but He has condemned sin which may be associated with it. Rather, the Lord even gave Israel of law of inheritance if a man have two wives - that is hardly a condemnation of polygamy. The Nephites were taking multiple wives and concubines for the wrong reasons, and that is why the Lord intervened and put a stop to it.

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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)?

Again, I think the topic needs precise analysis. It seems clear that Joseph Smith felt he was commanded to live polygamy, but is that because he was commanded to teach the principle? In other words was Joseph Smith breaking some commandment if he remained monogamous? The early history of the Church certainly paints Joseph Smith as following a commandment, but I feel less certain about exactly what that commandment was. This is doubly true when I examine D&C 132. Where is its commandment to practice polygamy? It simply is not there. There is certainly a commandment to Emma to accept the principle of polygamy, but I don't see a specific commandment to her to accept some other wife Joseph desired, and point out that would seem to be contrary to its provision that the first wife(s) had to give her permission for polygamy to be legal under the law of heaven. Personally, I feel the Church is reluctant to admit it may have misinterpreted the "commandment" concerning polygamy, when the early leaders promoted it so highly. So, as I see it, that is part of the "conundrum" you are running into. I don't see a conundrum at all, because I simply feel the Church misinterpreted things under Brigham Young.

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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.'

Yep. Joseph apparently did not do all those things anti-Mormon type critics accused him of - he didn't sleep with the wives of other men. Their children all belong to their own husbands. This sobering fact seems to have put some dampers on the claims of Joseph being some kind of selfish sex-crazed sinner. When I bring this up, even some on this forum have told me to "just stop" because as they see it, it brings their stories into some disrepute, but again the plain fact is, even when their own children believed they belonged to Joseph, they did not. The implications of this for Church history are deep and profound, and paint a different picture than one I think painted by Brigham Young and his contemporaries. Nevertheless, it is what it is, and may point to problems with the way the early post-Joseph Church was living polygamy.

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47 minutes ago, RevTestament said:

I first think it necessary to be more precise about the subject. I'm not trying to be argumentative, but I don't believe Jacob 2 "clearly condemns the practice." It condemned HOW the Nephites were practicing it, rather than the practice itself as practiced by their Jewish forebears. Notice it emphasizes that the Lamanites loved their wives and raised their children closely. For different reasons the Lord also condemned the polygamy of David. The sin of David was not in having multiple wives which scripture tells us the Lord "gave him." His sin was revealed by Nathan's parable of this man who had plenty of sheep, wanting the one sheep of another. The Lord has never condemned polygamy per se, but He has condemned sin which may be associated with it. Rather, the Lord even gave Israel of law of inheritance if a man have two wives - that is hardly a condemnation of polygamy. The Nephites were taking multiple wives and concubines for the wrong reasons, and that is why the Lord intervened and put a stop to it.

Agreed.

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The early history of the Church certainly paints Joseph Smith as following a commandment, but I feel less certain about exactly what that commandment was. This is doubly true when I examine D&C 132. Where is its commandment to practice polygamy? It simply is not there.

D&C132:32 Go ye, therefore, and do the works of Abraham; enter ye into my law and ye shall be saved.
            33 But if ye enter not into my law ye cannot receive the promise of my Father, which he made unto Abraham.
            34 God commanded 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.
            35 Was Abraham, therefore, under condemnation? Verily I say unto you, Nay; for I, the Lord, commanded

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There is certainly a commandment to Emma to accept the principle of polygamy, but I don't see a specific commandment to her to accept some other wife Joseph desired, and point out that would seem to be contrary to its provision that the first wife(s) had to give her permission for polygamy to be legal under the law of heaven. 

52 And let mine handmaid, Emma Smith, receive all those that have been given unto my servant Joseph, and who are virtuous and pure before me; and those who are not pure, and have said they were pure, shall be destroyed, saith the Lord God

65 Therefore, it shall be lawful in me, if she receive not this law, for him to receive all things whatsoever I, the Lord his God, will give unto him, because she did not believe and administer unto him according to my word; and she then becomes the transgressor; and he is exempt from the law of Sarah, who administered unto Abraham according to the law when I commanded Abraham to take Hagar to wife.

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On 2/5/2019 at 6:24 PM, JLHPROF said:

Agreed.

D&C132:32 Go ye, therefore, and do the works of Abraham; enter ye into my law and ye shall be saved.
            33 But if ye enter not into my law ye cannot receive the promise of my Father, which he made unto Abraham.
            34 God commanded 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.
            35 Was Abraham, therefore, under condemnation? Verily I say unto you, Nay; for I, the Lord, commanded

52 And let mine handmaid, Emma Smith, receive all those that have been given unto my servant Joseph, and who are virtuous and pure before me; and those who are not pure, and have said they were pure, shall be destroyed, saith the Lord God

65 Therefore, it shall be lawful in me, if she receive not this law, for him to receive all things whatsoever I, the Lord his God, will give unto him, because she did not believe and administer unto him according to my word; and she then becomes the transgressor; and he is exempt from the law of Sarah, who administered unto Abraham according to the law when I commanded Abraham to take Hagar to wife.

What is amazing about those verses are the many former members who claim that the church hides its history about Joseph's polygamy. I have always said to them: Have you read section 132 in the D&C? It is clearly there, also Emma's reaction to it. If the church were hiding its polygamy history they would have cut that section out a long time ago.

Edited by why me
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I too have been surprised by those completely unaware of Joseph’s plural marriage given 132. 

OTOH, many were aware of 132, but did not interpret it to include a large number of plural wives, some wives not far past puberty, some married women, or sealings hidden not only from the public, but from Emma. 

There is no information in sec 132 that indicates this might be how Joseph would practice it and in fact some verses would seem to contradict his actions. 

Edited by Calm
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9 hours ago, Calm said:

I too have been surprised by those completely unaware of Joseph’s plural marriage given 132. 

OTOH, many were aware of 132, but did not interpret it to include a large number of plural wives, some wives not far past puberty, some married women, or sealings hidden not only from the public, but from Emma. 

There is no information in sec 132 that indicates this might be how Joseph would practice it and in fact some verses would seem to contradict his actions. 

Indeed, polygamy is one thing, but the devil's in the details.  Once you look into it, how it was implemented and practiced, well there's plenty to be troubled by.  And yes, the Church has historically not been interested in getting the details out there, of course they church has tried to keep those details out of the eyes of the members.  

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10 hours ago, why me said:

What is amazing about those verses are the many former members who claim that the church hides its history about Joseph's polygamy. I have always said to them: Have you read section 132 in the D&C? It is clearly there, also Emma's reaction to it. If the church were hiding its polygamy history they would have cut that section out a long time ago.

I think the great majority of members know that Joseph had a few plural wives.  But many are now learning that it wasn't just a few older widows who needed to be cared for.  It's the details that have not been taught or written much about in the past and members are now being exposed to those (how many wives Joseph had, the ages of these wives, that some were married to other men already and the deception involved, etc.).  

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On 1/21/2019 at 12:37 PM, 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.'

Why did prophets and patriarchs in the Bible practice polygamy?  

Moses killed a man. Noah had a drinking problem.  Jonah ran away and then came back. 

They still accomplished the work they were assigned.

 

 

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1 hour ago, nuclearfuels said:

Why did prophets and patriarchs in the Bible practice polygamy?  

Moses killed a man. Noah had a drinking problem.  Jonah ran away and then came back. 

They still accomplished the work they were assigned.

 

 

I have a problem with anyone speaking for God and then it not coming true or was wrong. That is a sign of a false prophet.

Edited by Tacenda
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7 hours ago, Tacenda said:

I have a problem with anyone speaking for God and then it not coming true or was wrong. That is a sign of a false prophet.

Not always.  Prophecy doesn't remove agency.

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11 hours ago, stemelbow said:

And yes, the Church has historically not been interested in getting the details out there, of course they church has tried to keep those details out of the eyes of the members.  

There is a difference between lack of interest and intentionally hiding.  The latter does not automatically follow from the first.

While I would not be surprised to find a number of leaders, manual writers, teachers, etc. who intentionally worked to direct attention elsewhere or even hide information (by which I mean remove it from access), I suspect most intentional lack of info was based on lack of interest (where such info was known) based on how I hear leaders and teachers discuss things in the past decades I have been paying attention.  They aren't interested in it, so they aren't interested in teaching it; they are interested in it, they are interested in teaching it.  In a lay organization, where people don't have a master curriculum of facts being required to be filled every year, one runs the risk of stuff being left out just because people don't feel passionate about history, etc.

Edited by Calm
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11 hours ago, Calm said:

There is a difference between lack of interest and intentionally hiding.  The latter does not automatically follow from the first.

While I would not be surprised to find a number of leaders, manual writers, teachers, etc. who intentionally worked to direct attention elsewhere or even hide information (by which I mean remove it from access), I suspect most intentional lack of info was based on lack of interest (where such info was known) based on how I hear leaders and teachers discuss things in the past decades I have been paying attention.  They aren't interested in it, so they aren't interested in teaching it; they are interested in it, they are interested in teaching it.  In a lay organization, where people don't have a master curriculum of facts being required to be filled every year, one runs the risk of stuff being left out just because people don't feel passionate about history, etc.

I'm not too concerned to get too detailed about it, but from what I've seen there has seemed to be a bit of both--lack of interest and intentionally hiding--with more weight going towards lack of interest.  It's always been hard for me to accuse "the Church" because the Church is many people, and over time there's change over, direction and emphasis change.  But you are correct, there is a difference.

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23 hours ago, Tacenda said:

I have a problem with anyone speaking for God and then it not coming true or was wrong. That is a sign of a false prophet.

I understand that, and that makes sense.

When I look back at my own life and I'm honest with myself, I see many times the information or prompting from the Spirit which I recieved was significantly diluted, misinterpreted, refused, or rationalized away, only to have the same prompting return later in occassionally more foreceful, unmistakably clear ways.

Am I a prophet?

Of course not.

But I am a child of God and joint-heir w/ Christ, and a god (Psalms 82:6; John 10:34)

Edited by nuclearfuels
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