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2 hours ago, katherine the great said:

It doesn’t surprise me. It just irritates me. 🙂

Is there some indication they were doctrinally wrong?

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8 hours ago, JLHPROF said:
On 12/30/2020 at 9:10 PM, katherine the great said:

It’s not about disapproval. I don’t think plural marriage is always an unhealthy or immoral arrangement and historically certainly has been practiced. It’s about holding it up as somehow superior or preferable to monogamy in some way. It annoys me when it’s spoken of as some holy thing. 

Well that is what many prophets and apostles stated.  You can't be surprised that viewing it as a higher law still lingers in the Church.

I have high respect for the research on this topic done by Brian and Laura Harris Hales, they are extremely thorough.  In the frequently asked questions on their website, they provide the following:

Quote

Does Exaltation Require Polygamy?

Many modern polygamists and even some LDS Church members believe that Joseph Smith and/or other Church leaders have taught that exaltation requires polygamy. However, the revelation on celestial and plural marriage (D&C 132) teaches that the law and covenant that must be obeyed to gain exaltation is eternal marriage not plural marriage. In unambiguous language, verses 19–20 declare that a worthy monogamous couple sealed by proper authority shall receive “exaltation and glory in all things.”

The scriptures demonstrate that plural unions may be commanded, permitted, or not permitted depending upon the circumstances of God’s followers on earth. Importantly, unauthorized polygamy is not celestial marriage and creates adulterous relationships. When interpreting the significance of the 1890 Manifesto or other revelations such as those given in the 1880s, the only opinion that matters is that of the one man who holds the sealing keys. Without his authorization, no valid plural marriages can be performed.

Later in the same essay, it addresses this question:

Quote

Will It Be a Requirement?

There is no record of Joseph Smith or any other priesthood leader stating that all exalted men are polygamists. However, statements made between 1852 and 1890, when plural marriage was treated as a commandment, can be easily quoted out of context to create the appearance that church leaders taught that all men in the celestial kingdom would be polygamists.

During the Temple Lot depositions taken in 1892, President Woodruff was asked “if Joseph Smith had ever taught you at Nauvoo or anywhere else during his lifetime, that in order for a man to be exalted in the hereafter, he must have more than one wife?” He answered, “I don’t know that I ever heard him make use of that expression or use that form of expression.”[1]

Similarly when queried, “Did Joseph Smith teach you that a man must have more than one wife to be exalted,” Nauvoo polygamist and apostle’s wife, Bathsheba Smith, responded: “I never heard of that.”[2]

A third witness is Joseph C. Kingsbury who was asked if Joseph Smith taught him “that a man could not be exalted in the hereafter unless he had more wives than one,” Kingsbury replied: “No sir. He did not teach me that. He did not say anything about that.”[3] Kingsbury also recalled: “I heard it preached from the stand that a man could be exalted in eternity with one wife.”[4]

Despite these clear statements the folklore persists.

I think context is the key to any proper interpretation of this practice

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33 minutes ago, InCognitus said:

I have high respect for the research on this topic done by Brian and Laura Harris Hales, they are extremely thorough.  In the frequently asked questions on their website, they provide the following:

Later in the same essay, it addresses this question:

I think context is the key to any proper interpretation of this practice

I find Hales research valuable but biased to the point of only creating hypotheses that match his views.

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1 hour ago, TheTanakas said:

For Heavenly Father.  He glorified himself in the same way (of plural marriage,
verse 31).

Verse 37 is likewise indicative that these prophets received exaltation and Godhood through obedience to that law. It would be naive to think that God became God some other way.

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On 1/1/2021 at 4:45 PM, katherine the great said:

Only to me. If something doesn’t make sense, it isn’t true. (IMHO) 🤷‍♀️

I find that reasoning difficult. I still don’t understand what being immersed in water has to do with covenants and what oil and water in all our ordinances do.

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8 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

I find that reasoning difficult. I still don’t understand what being immersed in water has to do with covenants and what oil and water in all our ordinances do.

Symbolism. Baptism representing cleanliness oil representing anointing to royalty and priesthood. Where’s the symbolism in polygamy?

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23 hours ago, InCognitus said:

I have high respect for the research on this topic done by Brian and Laura Harris Hales, they are extremely thorough.  In the frequently asked questions on their website, they provide the following:

Later in the same essay, it addresses this question:

I think context is the key to any proper interpretation of this practice

just as easily quotes can be pulled from the same people and others during this time which state that polygamy, celestial marriage, entering into the new and everlasting covenant of marriage is required for exaltation.  We have multiple degrees in the celestial kingdom and in order to inherit the first degree marriage is not required.  It is clear from a number of statements that in order to inherit the highest exaltation marriage to more than one wife was a requirement.   See pg 18 from the smoot hearings document.

In 1891 the president and apostles of the church prepared and presented to the President of the United States the following petition, accompanied by statements signed by chief Justice Zane, Governor Arthur L. Thomas and other non-Mormons, to the effect that to their full belief the petition was sincere, and if amnesty was granted good faith would be kept.
Text of the letter:
The President of the United States:
"We the first presidency and apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day saints, beg to respectfully represent to Your Excellency the following facts:  
    We Formerly taught to our people that polygamy or celestial marriage as commanded by God through Joseph Smith was right; that it was a necessity to man's highest exaltation in the life to come.
    That doctrine was publicly promulgated by our president, the late Brigham Young, forty years ago, and was steadily taught and impressed upon the Latter-Day Saints up to September, 1890.

https://digitallibrary.utah.gov/awweb/awarchive?item=51916

 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, katherine the great said:

Symbolism. Baptism representing cleanliness oil representing anointing to royalty and priesthood. Where’s the symbolism in polygamy?

Symbolism may have value but why is it required to be done that way?

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41 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Symbolism may have value but why is it required to be done that way?

I don't really care about the specifics. Symbolic behavior is a very ancient human trait. Turning a clearly cultural practice into an "eternal law" is not.

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4 hours ago, blueglass said:

just as easily quotes can be pulled from the same people and others during this time which state that polygamy, celestial marriage, entering into the new and everlasting covenant of marriage is required for exaltation.  We have multiple degrees in the celestial kingdom and in order to inherit the first degree marriage is not required.  It is clear from a number of statements that in order to inherit the highest exaltation marriage to more than one wife was a requirement.

I think this was addressed by this section of the quote from the Hales' web site

"[S]tatements made between 1852 and 1890, when plural marriage was treated as a commandment, can be easily quoted out of context to create the appearance that church leaders taught that all men in the celestial kingdom would be polygamists."

If you live during a time when a specific commandment is given and you choose to disobey the commandment, you won't receive the highest degree of exaltation no matter what commandment that may be. 

4 hours ago, blueglass said:

See pg 18 from the smoot hearings document.

In 1891 the president and apostles of the church prepared and presented to the President of the United States the following petition, accompanied by statements signed by chief Justice Zane, Governor Arthur L. Thomas and other non-Mormons, to the effect that to their full belief the petition was sincere, and if amnesty was granted good faith would be kept.
Text of the letter:
The President of the United States:
"We the first presidency and apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day saints, beg to respectfully represent to Your Excellency the following facts:  
    We Formerly taught to our people that polygamy or celestial marriage as commanded by God through Joseph Smith was right; that it was a necessity to man's highest exaltation in the life to come.
    That doctrine was publicly promulgated by our president, the late Brigham Young, forty years ago, and was steadily taught and impressed upon the Latter-Day Saints up to September, 1890.

https://digitallibrary.utah.gov/awweb/awarchive?item=51916

Notice that the Smoot hearing document is ambiguous.  Celestial marriage is necessary to enter the highest degree of the celestial kingdom.  Polygamy is just another layer of the same celestial marriage.  And as mentioned above, it may have been necessary during the time when it was commanded, but certainly not at a time when it is not commanded.  Think about other commandments given anciently that we don't need to practice today.  We are only held accountable for the commandments we are given, and deliberate and unrepentant disobedience to a commandment may disqualify us from exaltation. 

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8 hours ago, katherine the great said:

 Turning a clearly cultural practice into an "eternal law" is not.

Chicken vs Egg.

I don't think that's what happened.

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No one will be surprised with my thoughts, but I believe Joseph wanted to justify his affair with Alger and leaned on the polygamy in the Bible to help him feel better about his affair, or had a strong sexual libido and didn't know how he'd be able to remain faithful to Emma. Why else would he ask the Lord if he should live the polygamy in the Bible? If he was so against living it, on paper anyway. 

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13 hours ago, InCognitus said:

I think this was addressed by this section of the quote from the Hales' web site

"[S]tatements made between 1852 and 1890, when plural marriage was treated as a commandment, can be easily quoted out of context to create the appearance that church leaders taught that all men in the celestial kingdom would be polygamists."

Not trying to take statements out of context between 1852 and 1890 to show that monogamy was insufficient to qualify for the celestial kingdom.   The purpose of quoting the first presidency letter to the US in the smoot case was to show that monogamy was insufficient to qualify for the highest exaltation in the celestial kingdom.  We both agree the celestial kingdom itself is comprised of multiple degrees, or exaltation levels.  In 19th century mormonism tier1 of the celestial kingdom was comprised of faithful saints who were single.  Tier2 of the celestial kingdom was comprised of faithful monogamists would had entered into eternal marriage.  Tier3 of the celestial kingdom was comprised of faithful polygamists would had entered into celestial marriage.  After 1904, tier3 comprised of polygamy was moved to apostasy and excommunication, tier2 or monogamy was upgraded to the new tier3.  tier2 was emptied and became an unknown place and ?  Tier1 Celestial remained unchanged.  

"Some people have supposed that the doctrine of plural marriage was a sort of superfluity, or nonessential to the salvation or exaltation of mankind."  T/F? 

"some of the Saints have said, and believe, that a man with one wife, sealed to him by the authority of the Priesthood for time and eternity, will receive an exaltation as great and glorious, if he is faithful"   T/F

 

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29 minutes ago, blueglass said:

Not trying to take statements out of context between 1852 and 1890 to show that monogamy was insufficient to qualify for the celestial kingdom.   The purpose of quoting the first presidency letter to the US in the smoot case was to show that monogamy was insufficient to qualify for the highest exaltation in the celestial kingdom.  We both agree the celestial kingdom itself is comprised of multiple degrees, or exaltation levels.  In 19th century mormonism tier1 of the celestial kingdom was comprised of faithful saints who were single.  Tier2 of the celestial kingdom was comprised of faithful monogamists would had entered into eternal marriage.  Tier3 of the celestial kingdom was comprised of faithful polygamists would had entered into celestial marriage.  After 1904, tier3 comprised of polygamy was moved to apostasy and excommunication, tier2 or monogamy was upgraded to the new tier3.  tier2 was emptied and became an unknown place and ?  Tier1 Celestial remained unchanged.  

"Some people have supposed that the doctrine of plural marriage was a sort of superfluity, or nonessential to the salvation or exaltation of mankind."  T/F? 

"some of the Saints have said, and believe, that a man with one wife, sealed to him by the authority of the Priesthood for time and eternity, will receive an exaltation as great and glorious, if he is faithful"   T/F

 

I don't think the bolded part was ever taught by a Church leader.  In fact Brigham specifically had teachings against the idea.

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I have yet to see any of the usual polygamy advocates come up with one reason polygyny is "celestial." No matter how many times the usual and very tired justifications are exhumed, they are easily shown to be illogical and unsupportable.  (And what the heck is "righteously" practiced polygyny? )

This is why these threads always are left to the fundamentalists. It is an exercise in futility. 

 

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2 hours ago, Tacenda said:

No one will be surprised with my thoughts, but I believe Joseph wanted to justify his affair with Alger and leaned on the polygamy in the Bible to help him feel better about his affair, or had a strong sexual libido and didn't know how he'd be able to remain faithful to Emma. Why else would he ask the Lord if he should live the polygamy in the Bible? If he was so against living it, on paper anyway. 

Except his inquiries about plural marriage came long before Fanny Alger appeared on the scene.

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On 1/1/2021 at 10:45 PM, katherine the great said:

Only to me. If something doesn’t make sense, it isn’t true. (IMHO) 🤷‍♀️

I respect that.  It is always difficult to believe that which we do not understand. Even Einstein found much in quantum physics to be difficult to take as true, things which the fresher minds in physics were coming up with toward the latter part of his career. 

We mortals are in a very poor position to understand the things of eternity, because by necessity we have been hobbled by limitations of mind. We see through a glass, darkly, and our faith is frequently challenged by those limitations. Too often we look at eternity and imagine that it will be just like here, only with a better house and gardens. And in that better house will be a bedroom with a comfortable bed in which we will sleep soundly 8 hours a day. And from time to time we will have very satisfying intimate relations with our spouse. In such a scenario, of course it would be disappointing, if in the midst of heaven itself we would have to give way while our spouse bestows his love and affection on another.

But where is it written that in the eternity things will be anything at all like they are here? Once you're resurrected, for example, you will never sleep again! So there won't be a bedroom in your mansion. Things will not be the same at all. Even love will change beyond your reckoning! 

God loves you more than even your parents or your spouse can imagine loving you. He loves your own children more than you can possibly imagine yourself loving them. Now, if God can equally love every single one of the billions of his children that He has, and love them with an intensity that exceeds any possible feeling you can exert at any time in your life, do you think that those sons of God who are counted worthy to be exalted will not be able to do likewise, and love as many of their wives as they might have, without limitation, and without diminishment?

I feel sure that whatever it is in the eternity that correlates to sex in mortality will so exceed what we have here that we cannot imagine it. And it won't be anything like what we have here. How does God create spirits? Surely not in the same way we create bodies for our earthly children! For one thing it would take too long! 

So just as Einstein inevitably had to accept that quantum physics had gone a bit past his ability to understand it, we will have to accept that just because we don't understand (or like) a particular point in the gospel doesn't make it untrue. We're asked to contemplate that which we might become in the eternities. But even the lowest kingdom of glory we might inherit is beyond our imagining. Don't mistake earth life for Eternal life.

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7 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

We mortals are in a very poor position to understand the things of eternity,

Your comment is lovely but my point is I don’t think polygyny has anything to do with eternity. I have looked at it from every angle. I have ancestors who practiced it with varying degrees of success and failure.  And my conclusion is: It is and has always been a cultural practice that was infused with a spiritual dimension by Joseph Smith and other early church leaders. It’s just another form of a marriage that humans have practiced over time. There is nothing truly spiritual or superior about it. That’s my opinion. 

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1 hour ago, JLHPROF said:

I don't think the bolded part was ever taught by a Church leader.  In fact Brigham specifically had teachings against the idea.

Do you have a quote on this?

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On 1/1/2021 at 3:45 PM, katherine the great said:

Only to me. If something doesn’t make sense, it isn’t true. (IMHO) 🤷‍♀️

It makes sense to me, but in terms of less noble human attributes such as competition, possessiveness, and territorial and self centered attitudes.

Edited by Calm
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